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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Faced with mounting questions about the propriety of  the district's handling of an effort to provide iPads to all of its students,  Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy today abruptly canceled the $1  billion program.

The Los Angeles Times reported on its website that Deasy sent a letter  to members of the LAUSD Board of Education notifying them of his decision to  halt the effort.

The announcement ends a sometimes-tumultuous program that was plagued by  difficulties since its rollout, including troubles tracking the devices and  complaints by critics that the effort was too costly for the cash-strapped  district.

Deasy's decision came after the release of emails and other documents  late last week to KPCC radio and The Times showing that Deasy and his former  chief deputy, Jaime Aquino, had been discussing the technology program with  executives from Apple and education publisher Pearson at least two years before  the bidding process ended and contracts were approved.

Although there was no evidence that Deasy tried to steer the bidding  results in favor of the companies, the documents showed that the superintendent  and other officials had been collaborating closely with the firms, The Times  reported. The District Attorney's Office reviewed a report on the program  prepared by the district's inspector general, but found no criminal wrongdoing  in the bidding process, the paper reported.

The Times also reported last week that a committee report being prepared  by the district found the bidding process was flawed, creating the appearance  of an unfair process.

Read more on the KFI News Blog

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