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Eye On Boise

Idaho might have to repay another $13.5M in federal e-rate funds if feds nix IEN contract

On top of the $14.45 million that’s already been requested, Idaho could be forced to pay back $13.5 million received from federal “e-rate” funds since 2009 if a federal review nixes the contract for the Idaho Education Network, state Department of Administration Director Teresa Luna told the Senate Education Committee this afternoon. Kevin Richert of Idaho Education News reports that Luna said based on the experience Idaho school districts have had with similar federal reviews, it could take months or years; you can read his full report here.

Richert reports that Luna said even if a pending lawsuit over the award of the IEN contract is satisfactorily resolved, that might not end the federal review. The network provides broadband internet service to every Idaho high school; before the federal funding crisis was identified last week, the Otter Administration was proposing expanding it to Idaho elementary and middle schools next year.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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