The Idaho Senate Monday approved creating broader oversight for the Idaho Education Network (IEN), which provides high-speed Internet access and more course options to public schools. The legislation would shift control from the Department of Administration to the superintendent of public instruction. The superintendent would sit on the council that oversees IEN, the Idaho Education Network Program and Resources Advisory Council (IPRAC), and pick four other individuals for the 13-member board. Six lawmakers would also sit on IPRAC.
Though the changes received a 34-0 vote from senators, Senate Minority Leader Kate Kelly, D-Boise, raised some concerns about the changes. She said sitting on IPRAC would require a large time commitment for lawmakers, and could lead toward a full-time Legislature. She also said it could expand the power of the Legislature too far. “It comes perilously close to blurring the lines between the separation of powers of the state,” she said.