When reports about the true price of iPads purchased by San Diego Unified with bond money surfaced a few years ago, residents and taxpayer advocates scoffed.
Devices that usually cost $400 — financed over as many as 40 years with interest — ballooned to a whopping $4,000 per device when warranties and accessories were factored in.
“Wait, so we’ll be paying for these iPads when we’re like 55?” said a mock text message that appeared as part of campaign message against a 2012 school bond. The San Diego County Taxpayers Association called the iPad price tag “obscene” when arguing against the same bond effort.
School officials at the time defended the inflated cost as necessary for the rollout of a 2009 initiative that put computer devices in the hands of each of the district’s 130,000 students.