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Eye On Boise

Mon., Jan. 14, 2008, 1:24 p.m.

‘We are now officially in the black’

The Idaho State Board of Education has just voted 5-2 to approve amendments to its $22 million contract with Data Recognition Corp. for ISAT testing, officially canceling 9th grade testing and making other cost-cutting changes. “We are now officially in the black,” board President Milford Terrell said after the vote, adding gruffly, “We were officially in the black before.”

The two “no” votes came from state Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna, who said he thought 9th grade ISAT testing was “absolutely essential” but that he understood the budget situation; and board member Rod Lewis, who questioned why the changes also included extending the contract for two more years, through 2012. Terrell said the extension was in exchange for DRC agreeing to cut its charges by $100,000 a year for three years. “That was … a carrot that we threw out to them for them to continue the contract with us and reduce the contract,” Terrell said. He noted that the state still could pull out of the contract at any time if the company doesn’t perform to its satisfaction or if the Legislature doesn’t appropriate the money to continue it. Lewis was persistent in his questioning, and grilled the board’s ISAT program manager, Margo Healy, about the details. Commented Terrell, “Boy, I thought it was hot this morning.”

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Eye On Boise

Short takes and breaking news from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.