Committee backs school broadband legislation

Posted at 5:46 PM, Feb 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-22 19:46:32-05

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- An Idaho Senate panel is backing legislation that will allow public school districts to obtain their own broadband contracts after abandoning the previous statewide model that was deemed illegal last spring.

The two proposals approved by the Senate Education Committee Monday would help school districts fund their broadband contract..

Both bills now move to the Senate floor.

Lawmakers stripped the previous one-size-fits-all model from the Idaho Department of Administration after a district judge ruled a $60 million contract that created the system was illegal. That program, known as the Idaho Education Network, had been providing Idaho districts with high-speed Internet since 2010.

That decision left individual school districts scrambling to negotiate their contracts with broadband providers.

The new program will be managed by local districts under the state's Department of Education.