Idaho's Luna clarifies position on Chicago strike: He's not asking Obama to intervene, just to pipe up for reform

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna was not abandoning his support of local control with his criticism of President Obama's failure to "speak out" against the strike by Chicago public school teachers, his spokeswoman says.

Rather, says Melissa McGrath, Luna is urging to President Obama "to make his support for Chicago's students and for education reform as a whole known across the country."

Late Monday, the Mitt Romney presidential campaign issued a statement from Luna, who advises Romney on education issues.

Said Luna: “President Obama’s refusal to speak out against the teachers union strike in Chicago represents an abdication of leadership. The President frequently talks about the need for education reform which will give every child the skills they need to be successful in the 21st century and a chance at the American Dream. But his silence inhibits those very things and yields to the whims of special interests at the cost of students. We need a president who will stand up for the students of Chicago and across the country. Mitt Romney will not put politics over principle. He will lead.”

After I wrote about Luna's statement here Tuesday, almost three dozen comments were posted, including several raising questions about Luna's consistency on local control.

Wrote CoolHandLuke: "I guess Luna thinks the President should be taking a stance on every state/local issue? I thought Republicans didn't like federal intervention on state and local issues?"

Late Tuesday, I asked McGrath whether Luna supported presidential involvement in labor disputes in school districts across the country. Her reply came after close of business. Here it is in full:

"Superintendent Luna is a proponent of local control. He is not advocating for the President to step in and intervene in a local issue but for the President to make his support for Chicago's students and for education reform as a whole known across the country. Instead, the President has remained silent. The strike in Chicago shows that it doesn't matter whether you go to Illinois, Wisconsin or Idaho. It's clear there is one opponent to education reform and that's the leaders of the teachers' union. In the past, President Obama has expressed support for education reform across the country and actually incentivized states and districts to implement reform but now he remains silent as states and districts battle to implement this reform."

You can follow Idaho Statesman Politics on Twitter.

1347463482 Idaho's Luna clarifies position on Chicago strike: He's not asking Obama to intervene, just to pipe up for reform Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


needs to get off his soap box and pay attention to Idaho.

I disagree...

The less he plays in Idaho policy the better...

I would really just like to see Luna focus on Idaho

Focus on your own reform and the impact on Idaho students and our economy. No need to get involved in Chicago politics.

Besides, if he is so interested in reform in Chicago, he should be making statements in support of Mayor Emanuel instead of focusing on the president.


point about Luna supporting Emanuel.

Historically American Public

Historically American Public Education is a pillar element of our Democracy, yet Luna and Idaho's anti-education GOP are systematically destroying public education without a conscious and willfully replacing it with a private for profit entity that controls education and places limits on learning and free thought.

Luna's current propaganda of hypocritical politics is a calculated attempt by Luna’s GOP handlers who have been provided national republican manufactured agenda to all local conservative school entities to attack the president in their local media demonizing him with the hypocritical politics of republican conservatism.

Luna has clearly proven to all Idaho that public education is his to destroy and that Idaho teachers are the enemy of republican conservatism.

Get your stories straight

Is Tom Luna capable of telling the truth?


When will Idahoans and all Americans act on the inescapable fact that our educational success depends upon family success. Our poverty rate is over 20%. This cannot be ignored.

Compared to what, 1936? How much do you need?


You fry wants with that?

Makes sense since his party is great at revising all they say.


You fry wants with that?

Bigger and better things

Looks like Mr. Luna is going for the national spotlight!After all, he's been rubbing elbows with the likes of Jeb Bush and the Mitt Romney gang. Frankly, I wish he'd stay out of politics (and our schools) altogether. Idahoans and their children would be much better off!

Let's not forget...

The Idaho republican party is supporting the Luna laws. The IEA is no more a union than the potato growers. The highest paid teachers in Idaho are in charter schools. Luna will give millions of our taxes paid to huge out-of-state corporations which have not shown that they have improved your child's education in any way. Luna had to buy a phony online BA to even be eligible to run for S of Ed. How many more reasons do you need to vote no?

By the way. ask Kevin why Idaho would be a 'moocher' state...

I'm not even going to bother looking.


You fry wants with that?