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State Board votes 4-3 for second year of UI law program in Boise

The Idaho State Board of Education, meeting in Lewiston today, voted 4-3 in favor of offering a second year of law school in Boise through the University of Idaho; currently, the UI College of Law offers just one year - the third year - of its law program in Boise. Under the proposal, if lawmakers in their session that starts in January approve, the second year of law school also would be offered in Boise, starting in the fall of 2013. That would require lawmakers approving a $400,000 appropriation for the program.

If they do, law students still would go to Moscow for the first year of the program, but would have the option of learning in Boise for the second and third years. Here's the vote breakdown in today's board vote:

Voting in favor: Board members Emma Atchley of Ashton, Bill Goesling of Moscow, Tom Luna and Don Soltman of Twin Lakes.
Voting against: Board members Rod Lewis of Boise, Richard Westerberg of Preston, and Ken Edmunds of Twin Falls.

Board member Milford Terrell was absent.

UI law classes in Boise start in two weeks

Here’s a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The University of Idaho says the American Bar Association has signed off on the school’s proposal for a third-year law program in the state’s capital city. The university announced Monday that classes will start in two weeks. The Moscow-based school in northern Idaho had previously hoped to expand and open a full three-year law school branch in Boise, but the State Board of Education rejected the proposal as too expensive and approved a scaled-down version. As of mid-March, University of Idaho President Duane Nellis said donors had pledged $425,000 toward the project. The school says donations have since increased to $500,000. Concordia University, based in Portland, Ore., also plans to offer law classes in Boise, with classes starting in 2011.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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