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School Computers catch Negative Advertisement

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A new radio advertisement from critics of Idaho’s education reforms calls a laptop program being rolled out under the changes an “unfunded mandate” that will require schools to spend millions of dollars they don’t have. But the ad’s claim that the laptops are unfunded conflicts with the $2.5 million appropriated for the devices this fall, when they go to teachers. Students will start getting the laptops in 2013 under schools chief Tom Luna’s reforms. An opponent of Luna’s changes in the Legislature, retiring Rep. Brian Cronin, is now a strategist for the campaign working to overturn the laws. He says the $60 million laptop program is an unfunded mandate because there’s not assured funding beyond the first year. Luna’s office counters the reforms are Idaho law and statutorily require funding.

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