Last summer, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna approved a multi-year contract with Education Network of America (ENA) to provide wireless services to Idaho high schools, raising concern among legislators about the length of the contract and expectations of future funding.
As a result of the controversy, Supt. Luna was invited to the House Education Committee on Tuesday to clarify the agreement the SDE has brokered with ENA.
Supt. Luna told the House Education Committee the contract would be voided if the legislature chooses to eliminate future funding. He also reported that all of the Idaho high schools and junior high schools that signed up for state-funded WiFi hookups will have those systems in place in time to meet a March 15th deadline. Currently, more than 80 schools that signed up are still awaiting completion of their WiFi hookups. Luna told the committee that 176 schools were scheduled to participate—down from the original estimate of about 200.
The WiFi project is funded through June 30, 2014 with a $2.25 million line item in the budget approved last spring. Luna has requested an additional $2.25 million for the 2014-2015 budget.