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IEN: How We Got Here

Over the last few years, much of the conversation surrounding the Idaho Education Network has focused on contracting, e-rate dollars and whether the service is worth the money being spent on it.

Especially with the latest breaking news, and the potential implications for Idaho students, that's how it should be. But at Idaho Reports, we wanted to take a step back and reexamine how the IEN started: A piece of legislation with bipartisan cosponsors that passed both the House and Senate unanimously in 2008, and an ambitious idea that would bring broadband and a wide variety of online courses to classrooms across Idaho.

Over the last week, we've spoken to key players who have been involved with the IEN at different levels throughout the years -- including former Superintendent Tom Luna, original bill sponsor Sen. Bob Nonini, and former senator John Goedde -- to talk about the system itself, its implementation in classrooms, and how we got to here.

We also put together a timeline of key events in the Idaho Education Network.

For more analysis, watch Idaho Reports, 8 pm Mountain Time/7 pm Pacific Time, Friday on Idaho Public Television.

Underwriting for Idaho Reports provided by The Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation