News

Report: Idaho wasted $61M on failed school management system

By Betsy Z. Russell, The Spokesman-Review
March 26th, 2015

Some stakeholders warned of problems with statewide instructional management system

idaho-managementIdaho wasted $61 million on a failed statewide instructional management system for schools, according to a new state performance evaluation, as former state schools Superintendent Tom Luna pushed it forward despite warnings it wouldn’t work.

Tim Corder, special assistant to new state schools Superintendent Sherri Ybarra, told lawmakers this morning the report is accurate. “We really are a changed administration,” Corder told the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee. “It was not us. It was the previous administration. … Superintendent Ybarra did not create that problem, but Superintendent Ybarra is going to be about fixing that problem.”

The report from the Legislature’s Office of Performance Evaluations showed that Idaho has spent $61 million on trying to implement Schoolnet statewide, including a $21 million grant from the J.A. & Kathryn Albertson Foundation.

The state committed a total of $77 million toward the project, including the grant, as part of Luna’s “Students Come First” school reform initiative.

Next page: The management program’s original purpose wasn’t as a statewide system