There's likely nothing more embarrassing for educators than messing up their own arithmetic, but as the LA Times reports, that's just what happened with the Los Angeles school district's student iPad program. On top of the fact that a good number of students have already found a way around the school district's attempts to prevent non-educational use, it now seems that the US$30 million that was approved for purchasing the Apple tablets isn't nearly enough for what the district actually needs -- and it was a simple math error that caused the confusion.
When coming up with the budget request for the iPad program, the district priced the iPads at $700 each, taking into account a discount program that the schools aren't actually eligible for. So when the order was placed, each iPad cost $100 more than what the schools originally planned, meaning a whole lot less hardware for the same amount of money. On top of that, the budget didn't take into account physical keyboards and other accessories that push the final price tag far past where it should have been.
However, the number of iPads the district secures may not matter for much longer, as some school officials have already began collecting the iPads, effectively killing the program or at the very least putting it into an unfortunate hiatus.