Idaho's state schools superintendent puts out a weekly e-mailed newsletter to school districts, and this week's edition adds a new feature: "Rumor has it." In it, "this week's rumor" is debunked - that millions in technology funding that school districts now receive through the Idaho Council for Technology in Learning is "going away," even as school districts await their January payments. Here's the item:
This week's rumor: ICTL funding is going away. NOT TRUE.
There has been speculation about the future of the ICTL and the critical funding it provides to technology. While the future of ICTL remains unknown, the Legislature and the State Department of Education remain committed to providing funding and support staff for educational technology throughout the State.
That's followed by a breakdown of the distribution of ICTL funds, which the Legislature appropriated at $9.15 million this year. The technology money is an established piece of the state's public school budget. While mid-year budget cuts, known as "holdbacks," are trimming 4 percent out of this year's budget for most state agencies, public school holdbacks are being made up from a school stabilization fund, so schools don't take a mid-year hit. The ICTL funds are divided into two pieces; one, which includes ongoing personnel costs, totals $4.05 million and is distributed in January; and the other, which totals $5.1 million, covers equipment and software; 75 percent of it is distributed in August, with the final 25 percent distributed before the end of the fiscal year.