The school board voted Tuesday to supply devices to 31,000 students starting in the fall of 2013.
The vote was the first step in a program to spend a total of $500 million to provide every district student with an iPad or similar personal computing device by 2014. Los Angeles Unified is the nation's second-largest school system with more than 650,000 students.
Board President Monica Garcia says in a statement that the program will ensure low-income students have the same opportunities as more affluent ones in a technology-driven world.
The program also puts the district up to date with national curriculum standards.