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Albertson Foundation threatens to withhold $4.5M

By The Associated Press
Published On: Jan 20 2013 09:11:10 AM MST
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BOISE, Idaho -

The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation is threatening to withhold $4.5 million it's promised to Idaho next year for a computer program to track student progress.
    
The foundation in Boise says the money now won't be paid unless Idaho restores taxpayer funding for teacher professional development - money put in jeopardy when voters rejected public schools chief Tom Luna's Students Come First overhaul Nov. 6.
    
The Albertson Foundation promised $21 million in 2011 for student-performance-monitoring software from SchoolNet Inc., a New York company.
    
According to a letter from the foundation to Idaho budget writers, however, the final $4.5 million won't be paid "unless the professional development funds are secured."
    
Melissa McGrath, Luna's spokeswoman, said Friday he'll announce a remedy for the potential loss of funding, but not until next month.