If Apple manufactured those iPads here in California maybe I could understand them receiving a de facto “no-bid” contract. However, that is currently unrealistic given current supply chain and labor cost issues.
Also, why not move towards open source software and textbooks? Why lock in to a single large for-profit textbook company? Sometimes I wonder if larger textbook publishers operate in a similar fashion as big pharma:
Big pharma – There is no money in a cure so we will string you along by treating symptoms
Big publishers – Make more money by dumbing down and spreading (even overlapping profusely) material over multiple textbooks.
Regarding that second point, my late father once said he believed we all could learn calculus by the 3rd grade. While that may be ambitious I do see his point. Perhaps we and our children are being strung along to sell more books with the same information.