The Senate unanimously approved HB 168, which provides funding to schools for broadband service through the end of the school year. The bill now moves on to the desk of Governor Butch Otter to be signed into law.
HB 168 was generated in the wake of the IEN fiasco, which threatened to leave Idaho schools without broadband service. It provides $3.64 million to districts to cover the cost of replacement broadband service through the end of June. It does not cover any back payments or potential lawsuit damages, nor does it solve the broadband issue for the 2015-2016 school year.
The stopgap funds will be administered and distributed by the office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction using a portion of funds that have been redirected from the Department of Administration.
No Career Ladder Bill Today
Education stakeholders returned to the Capitol on Monday hoping that some breakthrough might have occurred over the weekend and that the introduction of a career ladders bill was imminent. Though conversations continue, as of Monday evening no legislation has yet emerged.
While we continue to hope for a positive and workable career ladders plan, we also know that a wide spectrum of proposals could be introduced. We will be closely following the discussions, tracking down rumors and keeping you informed throughout this week. Please check your daily hotline message and be prepared to act quickly, if a bill appears.