Despite promises, iPad software still not implemented at schools

Posted at 12:19 AM, Feb 19, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-19 08:18:31-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--It's been almost four months since CBS 6 aired questions about Richmond Public Schools (RPS) purchasing a pricey software subscription tied with a training trip to Myrtle Beach.

The schools maintenance department, Plant Services, spent $40,000 on the software and several thousand more for the excursion.

"I think at this point it's an exercise in gross mismanagement,” said RPS school board member Kim Gray.

In our October report we pointed out that the software had expired without being used.

RPS leaders told us then it was a long process to implement, but they planned to renew their subscription and be up and running at the start of the new year. RPS Chief Operating Officer Andy Hawkins gave city leaders that same guarantee at a December meeting.

"We're very proud of the new system that's coming on board, it should be fully implemented by January of this year," said Hawkins at that time.

Now in late February, plant services employees say they still aren't using the software and have never seen the iPads that were intended to go with it. School board chair Jeff Bourne says it begs serious questions.

"Perhaps the management oversight in that department needs to be looked at, and looked at with a fine tooth comb," said Bourne.

The new maintenance software is meant to make repairs a faster more cost efficient process but former board member Carol Wolfe says nothing has been efficient about this project so far. Wolfe claims school leaders aren't keeping their word to get things done.

"This promise counts and I hope that this entire school board reminds them of their promise and holds them accountable," said Wolfe.