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Eye On Boise

Goedde: IEN mess could endanger $245M in federal funding for Idaho schools

The latest worst-case scenario for the Idaho Education Network carries a startling price tag, reports Idaho EdNews reporter Kevin Richert: About $245 million. That represents the federal funding that could be on the line, Richert writes, if the state doesn’t figure out how to keep its troubled high school broadband system online by the end of the month. “We need to find a path forward in the very near future,” said John Goedde, Gov. Butch Otter’s adviser on the Idaho Education Network contract and funding mess.

Goedde dropped the $245 million figure this afternoon, Richert reports, during a meeting of the network’s Program Resource Advisory Council. The council, known as IPRAC, was established by the Legislature to oversee the network’s day-to-day operations. It’s the amount of federal funding that could be lost if Idaho can’t conduct its scheduled statewide testing on at least 95 percent of students this spring, which is required by the state’s No Child Left Behind waiver; the test is taken online. Richert’s full report is online here. The $60 million contract for the broadband network linking Idaho high schools was voided by a judge in November, who ruled the state issued it illegally.

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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