Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna is among 18 policy advisers announced by the Mitt Romney presidential campaign. The Idaho Republican Party issued a news release Thursday about Luna's appointment.
“I am excited to work with Governor Romney to improve education across the country,” Luna said in the news release. “As Governor, he showed how states can truly put students first and raise academic achievement for all children. We have worked toward the same goals in Idaho, passing the most comprehensive education reform in the country to ensure every student can graduate from high school and go on to postsecondary education without the need for remediation. Now, we must make this is possible for every child in every state.”
The Romney campaign announced the 18-member advisory group Tuesday.
Joining Luna are three former members of the George W. Bush Administration who contributed to Luna's 2010 reelection who are advocates of for-profit education. Luna was a senior adviser to Bush Secretary of Education Rod Paige, who gave $500 to Luna. Paige was named a special adviser to Romney. Paige is formerly a senior adviser to Madison Education Group, which is run by his former No. 2 at the U.S. Department of Education, Bill Hansen.
Hansen, the son of former Idaho GOP Congressman George Hansen, was named one of two higher education co-chairs for Romney. Hansen gave $3,000 personally to Luna. Madison Education Group, of which Hansen is CEO, gave another $2,000 to Luna. Hansen is a former chairman and president of Scantron/Global Scholar.
Nina Rees, senior vice president for strategic initiatives for Knowledge Universe, is one of two K-12 co-chairs. Rees gave Luna $500.
Scott Fleming, president of Madison Education Group, joins Luna on Romney's advisory committee. He gave Luna $100 for the 2010 campaign.
Luna raised $47,550 from the for-profit education sector, accounting for 19 percent of his 2010 campaign's funds.
The complete Idaho GOP news release follows:
TOM LUNA NAMED EDUCATION POLICY ADVISOR TO GOVERNOR ROMNEY
Boise, ID – Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney has named Idaho’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna as a member of his Education Policy Advisory Group. The group is composed of individuals with deep and diverse experience in a variety of roles across K-12 education, postsecondary education, and workforce training in both the public and private sectors.
“I am proud to announce the support of this impressive group of policy leaders who are devoted to expanding educational opportunities for students,” said Governor Romney. “Our education system is failing too many of our kids, and I look forward to working closely with these leaders to chart a new course that emphasizes school choice and accountability, the importance of great teachers, and access to quality, affordable higher education."
Superintendent Luna was selected because of his extensive experience in K-12 education at the local, state and federal levels and because of his work to improve Idaho’s education system, culminating in the passing of the most comprehensive education reform laws in the country, Students Come First, in 2011.
“I am excited to work with Governor Romney to improve education across the country,” Superintendent Luna said. “As Governor, he showed how states can truly put students first and raise academic achievement for all children. We have worked toward the same goals in Idaho, passing the most comprehensive education reform in the country to ensure every student can graduate from high school and go on to postsecondary education without the need for remediation. Now, we must make this is possible for every child in every state.”
On Wednesday, Governor Romney outlined his education policy agenda. He called for dramatic reforms that will expand parental choice, invest in innovation, and reward teachers for their results. Governor Romney’s vision is in line with Students Come First, the education reform efforts currently being implemented across Idaho.
One example is how he will work toward recruiting and rewarding great teachers in K-12 schools. Governor Romney’s plan would remove the barriers to talented individuals entering the teaching profession and offer rewards and incentives for great teachers currently in our public schools.
In Idaho, we are implementing a statewide pay-for-performance plan this year as part of Students Come First to recognize and financially reward Idaho’s great teachers and leaders to ensure the best and the brightest stay in the classroom, where they are needed most.
The Idaho Legislature appropriated $39 million in new money to be distributed to Idaho’s teachers and building principals next year in performance bonuses. At least 85 percent of educators will participate in some form of a bonus.
Teachers can earn bonuses for working in hard-to-fill positions, taking on leadership duties, or working in a school that raises student academic growth. The bonuses based on student achievement will first be awarded to entire schools or groups of teachers working toward a goal in Fall 2013 and continue every year going forward. The bonuses for hard-to-fill positions and taking on leadership duties are individual bonuses and will first be awarded in the 2014-2015 school year and continue every year going forward.
For more information on Governor Romney’s education plan, visit http://www.mittromney.com/blogs/mitts-view/2012/05/chance-every-child-0. For more information on Students Come First, visit www.studentscomefirst.org.
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