WRAL.com reported today that the remaining iPads in a central warehouse have now been distributed by Mark Johnson’s office after repeated inquiries by news organizations and public school advocates.
RALEIGH, N.C. — More than 3,200 iPads sitting in a state warehouse – 2,400 of them for the past year – have all been delivered to school districts across the state, a spokesman for North Carolina Superintendent Mark Johnson said.
Johnson faced criticism this summer after Charlotte teacher and education blogger Justin Parmenter wrote that thousands of iPads the superintendent bought were “collecting dust at the North Carolina Textbook Warehouse in Raleigh.”
Johnson’s spokesman, Graham Wilson, told WRAL News by email Friday afternoon that “[a]ll of the iPads have now been distributed.”
Last week, Johnson announced he was sending 200 of the iPads to Ocracoke School, where flooding from Hurricane Dorian forced 185 students out of their building. On Monday, he surprised Junius H. Rose High School in Greenville with 100 iPads after math teacher Tracey Moore requested some for her class.
100 iPads to one school? Yes. Just out of the blue. A “surprise.”
An almost “Oprah” moment. Except he didn’t say, “You get an iPad! And you get an iPad! And you get an iPad!”
Mark Johnson said, “Only this school gets 100 iPads.”
That is unless Johnson has even more iPads in storage we don’t know about that he is claiming to have already put in teachers hands.
Whether those iPads come with a service agreement, ancillary equipment, protective coverings, and other needed items to prolong a rather expensive expense is not known. But if a teacher can ask for more iPads, would that mean that iPads would be on the way?
Ironically, Oprah Winfrey was in NC not this past weekend. As reported by the Charlotte Observer:
Oprah Winfrey stunned a packed Charlotte ballroom on Saturday by announcing a major donation to help more local minority students afford and succeed in college.
She gave a matching gift to the previous total raised. It was 1.15 million “for scholarships for deserving area students to attend historically black colleges.”
Mark Johnson spent about that much in taxpayer dollars on an audit of DPI after he took office to see what cuts could be made to the agency at the behest of his enablers in the NCGA. The result of that audit was that DPI was underfunded.
Oh, and Oprah Winfrey didn’t tweet about her surprise to bring attention to herself.