Howard Blume reports in this morning’s Los Angeles Times that the school district’s $500 million purchase of iPads did not include the keyboards that will be necessary when the students use them to take standardized tests. The district has also committed to spend another $500 million to install wireless Internet in every school. The iPads were purchased for testing students on the new Common Core.

Blume writes:

The project is funded by voter-approved school construction bonds, which typically are paid off by taxpayers over about 25 years.

Students at two elementary schools received the iPads last week in the first rollout. All students are supposed to have tablets by December 2014.

As of now, the iPad project does not include wireless keyboards, in part because the tablet computers have touch screens.

But that setup might not satisfy the needs of older students writing term papers, for example. And if typing on them proves more difficult, that could frustrate or hinder students as they take new online tests. The device’s touch screen could even obscure portions of a test item that would be visible in its entirety on a full screen.

For some time, the district has planned to use the devices for testing based on new English and math learning standards, called the Common Core, that were adopted by California and 44 other states.

There are rumors in the tech industry that Apple will soon release a new generation of iPads, which raises the question of whether they are dumping the soon-to-be-obsolete version on LA students.