The motion to fund the new Central Services division of the public school budget at $15.7 million in state general funds, $16.8 million total funds, has passed on an 18-2 vote of the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, with just Sens. Steve Vick and Sheryl Nuxoll dissenting. The bigger debate is the one coming up, however, on the “intent language” specifying how that money should be spent. That includes how to handle the future of a statewide WiFi contract, the Schoolnet program and more. The funds are being shifted from other, existing divisions of the school budget for better identification.
Rep. Jeff Thompson, R-Idaho Falls, who made the funding motion, said creating the new division in the budget is important. "It provides transparency that we need to have in state government that we have not had," he said.