An Internet-based education system that sponsors say is responsible for recent increases in concurrent enrollment programs has received funding to continue its operations.
The Idaho Education Network (IEN) is the culmination of the state's efforts to link up Idaho's high schools and colleges and provide flexibility in delivering curriculum to students. The bill, which came out of the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee (JFAC) Thursday, is intended to allow the state to expand the broadband network and give the Legislature more oversight into the operations of the program.
Under the plan laid out by legislators, IEN will receive $3 million in grant money from the Albertson Foundation, which has pledged the money for the project for the next two years. The plan would also alter the makeup of the Idaho Education Network Program and Resource Advisory Council (IPRAC), which oversees IEN. The chairman for the House Education Committee, currently Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur D'Alene, and Senate Education Committee chairman Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur D'Alene, will be given seats on the advisory panel.
According the Rep. Janice McGeachin, R-Idaho Falls, who sits on JFAC, the money will allow a better flow of information and the realignment of the advisory council will give the Legislature more oversight into the affairs of the program. McGeachin said that the realignment will also increase accountability for IEN by shifting the administration of the program from the Department of Administration to the Idaho Department of Education.
The budget now heads to the Senate for consideration.
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