Little Falls to withdraw completely from MSED

By Tina SnellStaff Writer

In 2005, the Little Falls School District made the decision to not use the Mid State Education District (MSED) for its special education needs. But it did continue to use Mid State’s enhanced interactive television programs through Mid State Educational Technology (MSET). At Monday night’s meeting, the Board voted to withdraw from MSET as of June 30, 2014.

The district had been looking to lower its costs with MSET or to look elsewhere for services and get the best bang for the district’s buck.

“With Mid State, Little Falls gets its Internet service and it participated in a collaborative venture to purchase servers and the phone system,” said Technology Director Mark Diehl. “But, it is not actively involved with Mid State.”

Currently, Little Falls is paying MSET $74,867 per year for interactive television services. Charter Communications provided a cost of $24,300 to the National Joint Powers Alliance for Internet access, using speed of 100 mega bits per second. Little Falls used those numbers for budget purposes in making its determination to withdraw.

“With discounts, the cost could be brought down to $16,000 per year,” said Diehl. The district could save approximately $60,000 annually.

When asked by the Board what the district will do with the old phone system, Diehl said Cisco Systems Inc. will migrate the phone system software onto the district’s  data center servers at a one-time cost of $7,500.

The district would be giving up the video classes, but Diehl pointed out that very few students actually utilize them.

Board Member Cathy Adamek said that if the district withdrew from MSET, changes and updates could then be made with the system without going through the process of asking permission then waiting for a decision.