The Omaha Public Schools board will meet Monday night to vote on a data provider for the iPads the district is giving to every student.

Earlier this month, the school board approved the purchase of about 54,000 iPads, which have cellular data capability, for all OPS students for $27.6 million.

The purchase of the iPads will largely be funded by the federal coronavirus relief bill, known as the CARES Act. OPS expects to receive $20 million to $24 million in federal money. OPS will pay the remainder.

Now the district is seeking Internet connectivity for the iPads.

The board will consider a one-year agreement with T-Mobile for unlimited 4G LTE data services for 56,400 iPads and 300 mobile hot spots.

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The rate is $15.84 per month per iPad or $10.7 million annually, according to school board documents.

T-Mobile would also provide OPS with 300 mobile hot spot devices at a cost of $72,000 annually. The cost includes both the device and the data service.

With the hot spots and the data, the total cost of the proposed one-year agreement is $10,792,512.

The district is taking advantage of the terms of a cooperative purchase state bid contract entered into between the State of Nebraska and T-Mobile.

In April the school board approved the purchase of 2,000 iPads with cellular data capabilities for $1.3 million for use in summer school.

The 2,000 iPads for summer school would be activated in June. The remaining 54,400 iPads would be activated in August.

The board members will meet via their electronic devices for the specially called meeting. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. A link to the meeting can be found on the district’s website: district.ops.org.


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Emily covers K-12 education, including Omaha Public Schools. Previously, Emily covered local government and the Nebraska Legislature for The World-Herald. Follow her on Twitter @emily_nitcher. Phone: 402-444-1192.

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