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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Fifteen Idaho schools will share $3 million in technology grants

BOISE – Students and their teachers in grades six through 12 at a Sandpoint charter school will get laptop computers, and special education classes at the school will have iPads for use as a result of state technology grants announced Monday. Forrest M. Bird Charter School was one of 15 schools across Idaho to qualify for a share of $3 million in grants for tech pilot projects for the coming year, nabbing $317,516 that also will cover training, project presentation systems and more. But outgoing state schools Superintendent Tom Luna noted that 99 schools applied for the grants, and if they’d all gotten what they sought, the total would have been more than $26 million.

Three North Idaho schools get state tech grants

Sixth through 12th graders at a Sandpoint charter school all will get laptop computers, as will their teachers, and special ed classes at the school will get iPads, under state technology grants announced Monday. Forrest M. Bird Charter School was one of 15 schools across Idaho to qualify for a share of $3 million in grants for tech pilot projects for the coming year.

Idaho schools that opt out of Wi-Fi will get state money

BOISE – Idaho school districts that opted to not join a controversial statewide contract for high school Wi-Fi services should qualify for state funding for their own wireless networks, state lawmakers decided Friday. On a 15-5 vote, the Legislature’s joint budget committee agreed to start reimbursing districts that set up their own networks – like Coeur d’Alene – and also to offer that option to those who want to withdraw from the statewide system. Those districts, if they met certain standards, would get $21 per student, the same rate the state pays Education Networks of America.

Sen. John Goedde suggests changes to Idaho schools Wi-Fi contract

BOISE – Idaho Senate Education Chairman John Goedde wants the state to cut off a five- to 15-year sole-source contract with Education Networks of America to set up Wi-Fi networks in every Idaho high school and instead send the $2.25 million a year in funding out to school districts to contract for their own Wi-Fi networks. “That was a multiyear contract signed with one year’s funding,” said Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene. “I’m really comfortable with a non-appropriation on that, and then I would like to see the money sent down to school districts with a standard, saying the money is theirs to invest in wireless. Anything left over after they meet that standard, they could use for other technology.”

Idaho schools chief Tom Luna won’t seek re-election

BOISE – Controversial Idaho schools Superintendent Tom Luna will not seek re-election, he announced Monday. That decision will help take politics out of the process of implementing school reforms recommended by a bipartisan state task force this year, he said.

Idaho schools chief Tom Luna pitches $66.9 million plan

BOISE – Idaho’s schools, hard-hit by budget cuts during years of economic downturn, would see a 5.1 percent boost in funding next year under a budget plan pitched to lawmakers Thursday by state schools chief Tom Luna. Luna’s proposed $66.9 million increase for schools is well above the 2.9 percent, $37 million increase Gov. Butch Otter has recommended. And unlike Otter, Luna calls for modest raises for teachers next year; Otter recommended none.

Bipartisan Idaho school reform bills unveiled

BOISE – In a rare moment of bipartisanship on school reform in Idaho, Democratic state lawmakers unveiled four far-reaching bills Wednesday, and GOP state schools Superintendent Tom Luna endorsed them. “This isn’t a partisan issue,” said Sen. Elliot Werk, D-Boise. “We all know that we need to work together. The public expects us to work together.”