A group called Education Voters of Idaho refused to disclose its donors until required to do so by a court order.
The biggest donor is a businessman who is an investor in K12, the online charter corporation ($250,000); the second biggest donor is Mayor Michael Bloomberg ($200,000).
EVI promotes the anti-union, anti-teacher, privatizing policies of state superintendent Tom Luna. Supporters of public education are seeking to repeal the Luna laws, which are deceptively called “Students Come First.” The phrase echoes Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst and Joel Klein’s Children’s First.
Luna has received heavy funding from technology corporations, and his laws mandate the purchase of a laptop computer for every student, and every student must take two online courses for graduation. They eliminate tenure and seniority. They require that student test scores count for 50% of every educator’s evaluation, including district superintendents, principals and teachers. All educators will have a one or two year contract. They initiate bonus pay based on test scores for all educators. Teachers will not get a written explanation if the principal decides to fire them.
A sample of one of the laws:
School districts no longer have to prove a financial emergency before reducing teacher numbers. School boards can reduce teacher numbers at their discretion but cannot consider seniority when deciding who to eliminate.