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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Idaho faces $14.5M budget shortfall for school broadband network

Here’s a link to my full story at on the unexpected $14.5 million hole in Idaho’s state budget, as lawmakers are being asked to dip into state funds to make up $14.5 million in missing federal payments to a group of vendors who are providing broadband service to Idaho high schools. “They’re business people and they’re not going to do it for free,” state Department of Administration Director Teresa Luna told the Legislature’s joint budget committee on Thursday. If lawmakers don’t ante up $14.45 million in state funds, she said, the network serving all of Idaho’s high schools “will be shut down.”

Lawmakers were thunderstruck. The state has spent millions to set up the Idaho Education Network, run by Education Networks of America and CenturyLink; that included $3 million in federal stimulus funds in fiscal year 2010, two $3 million grants from the Albertson Foundation in 2011 and 2012, and roughly $3 million in state funds last year and a like amount this year.

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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