Lawmakers blast multiyear wireless deal

State schools superintendent Tom Luna is planning to award a 15-year, sole-source contract to equip Idaho high schools with WiFi service — and the move is drawing fire from lawmakers who say they never approved the deal.

Betsy Russell of the Spokane Spokesman-Review broke the story Tuesday.

Here’s the summary from her story:

Luna’s office says the deal falls under the 2013-14 public schools budget, which earmarked $2.25 million for the project and called for statewide wireless coverage.

Rep. Maxine Bell, R-Jerome

Key legislators say the budget doesn’t spell out a multiyear contract. Sen. Dean Cameron, co-chairman of the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, said the deal borders on “a lack of honesty.” His House counterpart, Rep. Maxine Bell, was also taken aback. “My word – how can they? That doesn’t sound like the budget I set every year, which dies, positively dies out of money on the 30th of June.”

The contract will be awarded Wednesday, says Russell.

We’ll have more on the story as it unfolds.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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