Hamilton school board says it had no ministry help leasing iPads

News Apr 24, 2020 by Richard Leitner hamiltonnews.com

Hamilton’s public school board says the province played no role in helping it lease 1,000 special iPads for students without internet access, despite claims to the contrary.

Education director Manny Figueiredo said the board contacted Apple during the March break to see if there was a way to acquire internet-enabled iPads to supplement 6,000 regular tablets that were being distributed to students without devices.

He said Apple worked with Rogers Communications to lease the iPads for $250 apiece for six months, the first three months to include internet service.

Figueiredo said staff received trustee approval to use unspent money earmarked for professional development cancelled by teacher job actions to cover the cost of the iPads, which the board began distributing on April 24.

He said the iPads will become part of the board’s overall inventory because the lease deal with Apple refreshes devices every three years.

An April 17 Ministry of Education press release left the impression it played a key role, announcing the Ontario government had partnered with Apple and Rogers for more than 21,000 internet-enabled iPads to be purchased and distributed by school boards.

The initiative received national media coverage, with Education Minister Stephen Lecce boasting it showed his government’s commitment “to ensuring equitable access to education” while schools are closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“That announcement did create some confusion. Even my trustees asked, is that different from what we did, is there any money?” Figueiredo said.

“The answer is no, there’s no money from the ministry. That announcement, I believe, was to reflect what school boards across the province have come up with.”

NDP education critic Marit Stiles accused the government of taking credit for the independent actions by boards.

In an April 23 press release, she quoted a memo Toronto’s public board wrote to trustees stating, there are no additional iPads (or additional money for iPads) being provided by the province.”

“We’ve heard from boards all over the province that are inundated with calls from parents looking for the iPad they believed the government was sending their child,” Stiles said.

A spokesperson for Lecce’s office said the NDP “grossly mis-categorized” the government’s April 17 announcement.

Alexandra Adamo said the ministry brought Apple and Rogers together to offer internet-enabled iPads “at a cheap price” for boards wanting to buy them.

Although the Hamilton public board is leasing, not buying, the iPads, she said it benefitted.

“I don’t want to say that we’re taking credit for something boards are doing, but boards wouldn’t have access to this deal prior to our announcement,” Adamo said.

 

Hamilton school board says it had no ministry help leasing iPads

Province’s announcement confused trustees, director says

News Apr 24, 2020 by Richard Leitner hamiltonnews.com

Hamilton’s public school board says the province played no role in helping it lease 1,000 special iPads for students without internet access, despite claims to the contrary.

Education director Manny Figueiredo said the board contacted Apple during the March break to see if there was a way to acquire internet-enabled iPads to supplement 6,000 regular tablets that were being distributed to students without devices.

He said Apple worked with Rogers Communications to lease the iPads for $250 apiece for six months, the first three months to include internet service.

Figueiredo said staff received trustee approval to use unspent money earmarked for professional development cancelled by teacher job actions to cover the cost of the iPads, which the board began distributing on April 24.

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He said the iPads will become part of the board’s overall inventory because the lease deal with Apple refreshes devices every three years.

An April 17 Ministry of Education press release left the impression it played a key role, announcing the Ontario government had partnered with Apple and Rogers for more than 21,000 internet-enabled iPads to be purchased and distributed by school boards.

The initiative received national media coverage, with Education Minister Stephen Lecce boasting it showed his government’s commitment “to ensuring equitable access to education” while schools are closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“That announcement did create some confusion. Even my trustees asked, is that different from what we did, is there any money?” Figueiredo said.

“The answer is no, there’s no money from the ministry. That announcement, I believe, was to reflect what school boards across the province have come up with.”

NDP education critic Marit Stiles accused the government of taking credit for the independent actions by boards.

In an April 23 press release, she quoted a memo Toronto’s public board wrote to trustees stating, there are no additional iPads (or additional money for iPads) being provided by the province.”

“We’ve heard from boards all over the province that are inundated with calls from parents looking for the iPad they believed the government was sending their child,” Stiles said.

A spokesperson for Lecce’s office said the NDP “grossly mis-categorized” the government’s April 17 announcement.

Alexandra Adamo said the ministry brought Apple and Rogers together to offer internet-enabled iPads “at a cheap price” for boards wanting to buy them.

Although the Hamilton public board is leasing, not buying, the iPads, she said it benefitted.

“I don’t want to say that we’re taking credit for something boards are doing, but boards wouldn’t have access to this deal prior to our announcement,” Adamo said.

 

Hamilton school board says it had no ministry help leasing iPads

Province’s announcement confused trustees, director says

News Apr 24, 2020 by Richard Leitner hamiltonnews.com

Hamilton’s public school board says the province played no role in helping it lease 1,000 special iPads for students without internet access, despite claims to the contrary.

Education director Manny Figueiredo said the board contacted Apple during the March break to see if there was a way to acquire internet-enabled iPads to supplement 6,000 regular tablets that were being distributed to students without devices.

He said Apple worked with Rogers Communications to lease the iPads for $250 apiece for six months, the first three months to include internet service.

Figueiredo said staff received trustee approval to use unspent money earmarked for professional development cancelled by teacher job actions to cover the cost of the iPads, which the board began distributing on April 24.

Related Content

He said the iPads will become part of the board’s overall inventory because the lease deal with Apple refreshes devices every three years.

An April 17 Ministry of Education press release left the impression it played a key role, announcing the Ontario government had partnered with Apple and Rogers for more than 21,000 internet-enabled iPads to be purchased and distributed by school boards.

The initiative received national media coverage, with Education Minister Stephen Lecce boasting it showed his government’s commitment “to ensuring equitable access to education” while schools are closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“That announcement did create some confusion. Even my trustees asked, is that different from what we did, is there any money?” Figueiredo said.

“The answer is no, there’s no money from the ministry. That announcement, I believe, was to reflect what school boards across the province have come up with.”

NDP education critic Marit Stiles accused the government of taking credit for the independent actions by boards.

In an April 23 press release, she quoted a memo Toronto’s public board wrote to trustees stating, there are no additional iPads (or additional money for iPads) being provided by the province.”

“We’ve heard from boards all over the province that are inundated with calls from parents looking for the iPad they believed the government was sending their child,” Stiles said.

A spokesperson for Lecce’s office said the NDP “grossly mis-categorized” the government’s April 17 announcement.

Alexandra Adamo said the ministry brought Apple and Rogers together to offer internet-enabled iPads “at a cheap price” for boards wanting to buy them.

Although the Hamilton public board is leasing, not buying, the iPads, she said it benefitted.

“I don’t want to say that we’re taking credit for something boards are doing, but boards wouldn’t have access to this deal prior to our announcement,” Adamo said.