Lawmakers received $5 million worth of good news Tuesday morning. The state’s bill for school broadband could come in well below budget.
One reason for the savings: School districts have been able to tap into federally administered dollars that had been cut off during the Idaho Education Network broadband contract dispute.
All told, the state could wind up paying $1.3 million to keep high-speed Internet in its high schools through June 30, State Department of Education chief technology officer Chris Campbell said Tuesday. The 2015 Legislature had earmarked $6.3 million for broadband for 2015-16.
That means the state should be able to return a $5 million balance to Idaho’s general fund, Campbell told a legislative interim committee studying Idaho’s broadband issues.