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Huckleberries Online

Solons At Odds w/Luna Wifi Contract

Idaho state schools chief Tom Luna is about to sign a 15-year, multimillion-dollar contract for a private company to set up Wi-Fi networks in every high school in the state, even though the Legislature never approved the move. Luna is scheduled to award the contract today. The finalists include Education Networks of America, a company that was awarded a contract, later canceled, under the voter-rejected Students Come First laws last year to do the same thing. “It was part of a Senate bill that we should do a statewide contract,” said Melissa McGrath, Luna’s spokeswoman. But the bill she cited was Senate Bill 1200, the public school budget. It allocated $2.25 million to set up wireless infrastructure in Idaho high schools next year and said nothing about a long-term contract. The request for proposals doesn’t include amounts, but if the contract stayed at $2.25 million a year, it would cost the state $11.25 million over five years and $33.75 million over the full 15 years/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: I ♥ wifi. But I can't help but think that Luna has stepped beyond bounds of standard operating procedure by pulling this rabbit out of his hat without keeping Legislature in the loop. What do you think?


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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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