A promoter of the education policies of Idaho school Superintendent Tom Luna isn’t revealing the source of campaign cash by giving it through a group that is exempt from disclosure.
The Idaho Statesman reported last week a nonprofit, Education Voters of Idaho, created by Boise-based lobbyist John Foster, gave $200,350 to another group, Parents for Education Reform, for ads touting Mr. Luna’s changes.
Though Parents for Education Reform disclosed its contribution, Education Voters of Idaho won’t file a similar report detailing its backers. That’s because it’s exempted by federal tax laws governing nonprofit, “social welfare organizations,” Mr. Foster said.
The state’s 2011 education changes limit union bargaining power, promote teacher merit pay, and require online classes. They are the subject of a Nov. 6 repeal effort being pushed by the Idaho teachers’ union.
Tim Hurst, Idaho’s deputy secretary of state, has contacted Mr. Foster about the contribution and is looking into how it aligns with Idaho campaign-disclosure laws.
A version of this article appeared in the October 17, 2012 edition of Education Week as Donor Is Concern in Idaho Campaign