In 2014, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) shuttered a $1 billion program to give an iPad to every kid in the school district. There were improprieties in the way the bidding process was carried out, the school said, and a year earlier, students had “hacked” their iPads (really just deleting profile information that imposed limits on how the kids could use the tablets).
Apple committed $100 million in 2014 to fund 114 mostly low-income schools as part of an Obama Administration initiative to even the playing field of technology in the the classroom. The WSJ spoke to teachers at HL Suverkrup Elementary in Yuma, AZ who have benefited from the program and claim the new tech "really enhances [the students'] learning and it motivates them to learn." Apple provided an iPad for each student and teacher, a MacBook for each teacher, and an Apple TV for each classroom. Apple also assigned an employee, generally a former teacher, "to spend 17 days a year at each school, training teachers and helping prepare lessons."
Of course, despite the positive feedback from teachers, renewed funding for the schools' iPad programs may not be available in three years when the money is scheduled to run out. But if the benefiting school districts are willing to put up money to continue the programs in three years, Apple's investment might be a way to regain some of the market share it has lost in the classroom to Alphabet. That company's “Chromebooks accounted for 51 percent of computer and tablet purchases by US schools in the third quarter of 2015,” the WSJ reported. Apple products were only 24 percent of school purchases in that time period.
iPad programs not funded by Apple seem to be doing well, too, at least in the early stages. A separate effort in Southern California's Coachella Valley Unified School District is not funded by Apple, but school administrators said that a $42 million bond measure funded by the district has paid off. Superintendent Darryl Adams told the WSJ that he “credits the iPads with helping to lift the district’s high-school graduation rate to 82 percent in 2015 from 65 percent in 2011.” Rather than simply giving the iPads to students, though, the school has put effort into making sure its students have Internet access after school by parking school buses broadcasting a Wi-Fi signal in neighborhoods where it's needed most.