Jones running for state superintendent

Idaho Falls Democrat Jana Jones announced Tuesday she is running for superintendent of public instruction.

Jones, a former chief deputy superintendent of public instruction, previously ran for the position in 2006, when she lost a close race to Republican Tom Luna.

Jana Jones Headshot 2
Jana Jones

Jones has 40 years of education experience. She founded the Progressive Day School early childhood education center in eastern Idaho and worked with former Gov. Cecil Andrus to lobby for state-sponsored kindergarten programs.

She has also worked for the State Department of Education and former state superintendents Jerry Evans, Anne Fox and Marilyn Howard.

“What I want for our kids is simple: safe schools, great teachers, modern, up-to-date classrooms and a challenging curriculum that prepares them with the knowledge and skills they need to create the future of their choice,” Jones said in a news release announcing her candidacy.

Jones said she is running so that Idahoans can again feel good about the school their children attend.

“Now there is lots of work to do,” Jones said. “Budgets and programs have been cut, classrooms are overcrowded, local control has been diminished and trust has been lost.”

Luna, the Republican incumbent, has said he wants to run again but has not yet made an official campaign announcement. When the two squared off in 2006, Luna earned just more than 51 percent of the vote, while Jones captured nearly 49 percent of ballots cast.

Jones now works as a consultant where she is involved in K-12 issues relating to school districts, charter schools and state education departments.

In conjunction with Tuesday’s announcement, Jones launched a campaign website.