With the settlement, the state’s direct costs from the broadband contract debacle will climb to at least $18.2 million, according to an Idaho Education News analysis.
The State Department of Education-led commission would help school districts secure local high-speed Internet contracts.
A legislative committee said it wanted no part of a statewide system that “mirrors” the failed statewide school broadband network.
One big reason for the savings: School districts have tapped into federal funds that were cut off during the Idaho Education Network contract dispute.
The legislative panel has been assigned to study Internet options for schools and state agencies.
The 10-person panel is heavy with budget expertise — with five members serving on the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee.
State officials and a federal contractor are talking, finally, about funding the state’s high school broadband project. “Hopefully, in short order, we will have this all behind us,” state superintendent Tom Luna said Tuesday.
The Senate Education Committee asks some pointed questions about the troubled Idaho Education Network broadband project, and hears about a new worst-case scenario.
Idaho’s congressional delegation received a briefing on the Idaho Education Network funding mess last week — but lawmakers are taking a wait-and-see approach.
Funding for a statewide broadband program could be in indefinite “limbo,” as a federal contractor reviews the state’s contract. If the feds find the contract null and void, the state could be on the hook for nearly $13.5 million.