South Dakota Gov. Bill Janklow announced April 15 that the state will spend nearly $7 million to electronically link all public K-12 and postsecondary schools in the state.

The intranet will let schools connect to the internet, offer eMail accounts, provide web page hosting, and give them the ability to transmit data and provide real-time video for videoconferencing. The state’s plan is eventually to connect all K-12 schools, technical institutes, state universities, libraries, and state and local governments together in the voluntary network.

Janklow wants the infrastructure and support staff in place by the end of the year. eMail accounts and web page hosting should be available by the start of the 1999-2000 school year, with videoconferencing capability in place by September 2000.

About 5,000 administrators, 9,000 teachers, and 135,000 students will have access to eMail accounts, and as many people as want to can set up their own web pages.