Investigative reporter Yasha Levine digs into the iPad mess in Los Angeles here.

Some corporations will make a lot of money, especially Apple and Pearson.

And meanwhile, many Los Angeles students will be in overcrowded classrooms and will not get any arts programs because of budget cuts.

This story is not going away.

It just keeps getting worse.

No one has explained where the money will come from to pay for the next round of iPads in three or four years.

But not to worry: Buying from Apple and Pearson is one of the civil rights issues of our time. It will assuredly level the playing field for kids of all races and conditions. Right?

As Levine explains:

There’s no doubt that Apple and Pearson were happy with the deal. The two companies won competitive bids to supply respectively the hardware and software for LA’s “tablets for all” program. The first phase of the project was worth “only” $30 million. But when fully implemented, the companies stood to make a killing. With roughly 700,000 students and 45,000 teachers, LAUSD is the second-largest school district in the country. At $770 per iPad (not including keyboard), the deal would bring Apple an estimated $600 million. Meanwhile, the for-profit education mega-company Pearson would make up to $75 million a year just off its software licensing fees.

There were a lot of unanswered questions about the deal, but at least one thing was crystal clear: outfitting nearly a million people with top-of-the-line tablets was going to be insanely expensive. And that’s why just about everyone that wasn’t directly cashing in on LA’s “tablets was all” scheme was baffled and outraged by it. Parents and teachers couldn’t understand how LAUSD’s top brass could blow so much money on an expensive toy at time when the district was laying off teachers and cutting physical education, art and music programs. Pointy headed academics scratched their chins at the news because there is no scientific evidence that shows tablets help kids learn or boost academic performance in any way. And others wondered why LAUSD planned to pay for iPads using bond money that was approved by voters solely for use in upgrading physical school infrastructure, especially when schools routinely lack the funds to make critical repairs.

Even the Los Angeles Times, which is normally very sympathetic to Deasy’s technocratic reform schemes, criticized the iPad deal. The paper noted with concern that Deasy not only owned Apple stock, but he had also appeared in an Apple promotional video boosting iPads as the best educational tools around.