Sen. Branden Durst’s claim that Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna is scheming to get a job with the nation’s largest provider of online primary and secondary education prompted push back from the company Wednesday.
“I read that a state senator recently claimed that K12 is planning to hire Mr. Luna,” said Jeff Kwitowski, K12′s senior vice president for corporate communications, in an email early this afternoon. “For the record, that is not true and any suggestion otherwise is just ridiculous speculation.”
On Tuesday, Durst alleged that Luna fibbed on Monday when he told the Statesman that he will run for a third term in 2014. In a guest opinion, Durst said that Luna has already told top staff he won’t seek re-election and wrote that Luna will “likely be hired” by either K12 or Education Networks of America. ENA is the Tennessee-based firm that won a controversial long-term contract to provide wireless services in Idaho schools. Luna signed the contract last week, over the objections of some lawmakers.
K12 Inc., a Virginia-based online company that operates the publicly-funded Idaho Virtual Academy, has supported Luna’s campaigns. In 2010, K12, its employees and major stockholders spent about $44,000 supporting Luna’s re-election.