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In the face of COVID-19 and significant state budget cuts, North Idaho College officials are looking at nearly every budget line item as they work on their FY2021 budget for deep cuts, and one of the items being considered is the closure of the NIC Bonners Ferry Center.

But if it happens, it won't be done in cover of darkness, and it won't mean the end of local educational opportunities.

"There has been discussion of the closure of the Bonners Ferry Center," said NIC spokesman Laura Rumpler. "We're looking at cuts across the NIC institution."

There are no decisions imminent at this time, she said.

"As our budget develops, we will be discussing impacts in the communities that will be affected," she said. "While we are looking at cuts, we're also looking at ways to expand virtual educational opportunities to eliminate some of our physical plants. We're going through a difficult period with the COVID-19 pandemic, but we're learning from the experience."

And it's not only the Bonners Ferry Center being considered, but all programs across the five North Idaho counties.

"How we provide services may be changing," Rumpler said.

Publisher

Mike Weland has been a journalist since serving as battalion Hometown News specialist in the Army's 82nd Airborne Division beginning in 1979. He is publisher, editor and reporter at KootenaiValleyTimes.com, which he launched in March, 2018.

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