Luna hopeful for ‘heavy lift’ for K-12

A 5.4 percent K-12 budget increase would be a “heavy lift,” but state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna is confident that the 2014 Legislature will make a down payment on education reform.

The Luna budget would begin to implement the recommendations from Gov. Butch Otter’s education reform task force — a list that includes a $253 million teacher career salary ladder and restoring $82 million cut from school district budgets during the recession.

“I think the most important step is the first step and that’s the one we’ll take this year,” Luna said this week, in an interview with Aaron Kunz of Idaho Public Television’s “Idaho Reports.”

Luna was one of 31 members of the task force — the second such committee in his seven years as superintendent. But Luna expressed confidence that this group is committed to seeing their proposals through.

Idaho Reports, 11.14.13
This week’s pundits panel: Betsy Russell, Spokane Spokesman-Review; Jim Weatherby; Kevin Richert; and “Idaho Reports” co-hosts Melissa Davlin and Aaron Kunz.

“That means that things are going to have to change, people are going to have to do things differently. And that’s often where the rub is.”

This week’s edition of “Idaho Reports” is all about education.

One segment looks at pre-kindergarten programs; Boise Democratic Rep. Hy Kloc is working on a pre-K pilot bill.

In the pundits section, I join longtime Idaho political analyst Jim Weatherby and Betsy Russell of the Spokane Spokesman-Review in a discussion of education issues, and education politics. The unofficial line of the day has to go to Weatherby, for his critique of the still-moribund race for state superintendent: “What race?”

Here’s a link to the broadcast.


Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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