In a ruling that could have major implications for broadband service in schools — and a multimillion-dollar price tag for Idaho taxpayers — a District Court judge has tossed out Idaho’s $60 million school broadband contract.
The disputed Idaho Education Network contract was declared void late Monday afternoon by 4th District Court judge Patrick Owen.
Owen sharply criticized the state Department of Administration for continuing to try to salvage the 2009 contract, after carving Syringa Networks out of the deal to provide broadband to 219 high schools across the state.
Boise State University has more students this fall than it did fall 2013, but Idaho State University and the University of Idaho have fewer. All three of Idaho’s public universities saw substantial growth during the height of the Great Recession. But for the last few years the trend has been declining enrollment.
Total enrollment – 22,259
Idaho’s largest public university grew by a little more than 1 percent after two years of declining enrollment.
“We have a lot of work to do,” said TVEP chairman Rich Raimondi, president at Bishop Kelly High School. “We first want to be open and transparent about our baseline. I think we will see (increases) in the next couple of years.”
Republican Sherri Ybarra says her at-times bumpy campaign for Idaho's Superintendent of Public Instruction is a result of increased public scrutiny on a political newcomer. But the school administrator from Mountain Home says she understands the focus that's on her comes with a run for public office.
Those who follow education and politics in Idaho will probably be hearing the phrase ‘tiered licensure’ a lot in the next few months. The idea is to create different levels of teaching licenses. Idaho Education News reporter Clark Corbin has been following the issue closely. Corbin says the plan has many teachers worried.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is raising the bar for high school students enrolled in seminary, adding tests and reading requirements to a program that previously just required attendance.
Church-run seminary classes are geared toward students ages 14 to 18 and overview the Mormon scriptures in 50-minute, daily sessions typically held at a home or LDS meetinghouse in the mornings before regular high school classes begin.
In 2012-13, Idaho’s high school graduation rate dropped to its lowest point in a decade.
The numbers — the most recent available — largely reflect a bookkeeping change. The federal government wants schools to do a better job of tracking students who leave the education system, even if they just transfer to another school; any students who fall through the cracks will be listed as dropouts.
Boise State University officials say they will change their on-campus event policies after facing a possible lawsuit from private legal organizations.
The Idaho Freedom Foundation and American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho had accused the university of violating the First Amendment after it charged a student organization security fees for a gun-rights event earlier this year.
University officials had already reimbursed the students $465 but they say will now suspend the policies that allow them to charge for enhanced security.