Apple to pay $4.2M to L.A. school district for iPad software issues

After months of expressing dissatisfaction with the software on more than 40,000 iPads, a massive school district will get a small settlement from Apple if the school board approves.

Apple has agreed to pay the majority of a $6.4 million settlement to the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), agreeing to cover $4.2 million of the total amount. The remaining $2.2 million comes from the district not having to pay for recently purchased laptops.

The L.A. Times notes that the district will vote on accepting or rejecting the settlement amount next month.

The LAUSD originally purchased 40,000 iPads for students and teachers, paying $768 each, as part of a massive $1.3 billion education plan. The iPad prices included both the Apple hardware and software from Pearson; the school district has repeatedly voiced dissatisfaction with the latter.

Apple is paying, however, because it subcontracted Pearson for the apps and digital curriculum, which one LAUSD project manager said it requires "extraordinary, unsustainable, and un-scalable resources."

Clearly, a $4.2 million settlement is a drop in the bucket for Apple, which earned $10.7 billion in net profits last quarter. Even so, I'm certain some of Apple's management team isn't happy with the situation.

What could have been a landmark education win for the company has been marred by months of public dissatisfaction and a potential court case over something Apple didn't even directly provide. The LAUSD isn't complaining, for example, about the iPads, but instead about how the software is lacking.

And this may not be the last time we hear about the $1.3 billion education deal with regards to Apple: The FBI is currently investigating the bid process used for the sale.