Legislators grill Luna on IEN funding fracas

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The worst-case-scenario for Idaho's embattled school broadband program could involve the Idaho Education Network going dark and leaving the state on the hook for more than $13 million, lawmakers learned Monday.

Department of Administration Director Teresa Luna said a federal agency providing three-fourths of the network funding is still determining if the department's contract is illegal.

The federal government has withheld funding since March 2013 as a lawsuit pends, and could refuse to fund another Idaho program even if the contract is rebid.

The Department of Administration opted to renew provider Education Networks of America 's contract last year — a year early — without informing lawmakers.

Luna says Idaho could be eligible to get a waiver for the owed money, because the funds weren't lost through fraud or abuse.

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