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Campaign watch

Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett filed a large contribution report (required for contributions over $1,000) last week showing a $10,000 campaign contribution from Robert L. Luddy of Raleigh, N.C.

"Luddy, the founder and CEO of Raleigh, North Carolina-based CaptiveAire Systems, Inc., has battled lawmakers and rocked local school systems by building private schools with pricey tuition and limited enrollments," according to a bio on a University of Louisville speaker series profile. "He believes the schools are necessary to give parents choices beyond overcrowded and overburdened public school systems."

Luddy was the target of a protest at North Carolina State University in 2010, according to a blog devoted to the Wake County school system.

A brochure promoting the demonstration proclaimed: "This small but wealthy minority is threatening the future of our entire education. Luddy and his cohorts can't be allowed to freely dismantle public education to further their agendas."

Karen Francisco, editorial page editor for The Journal Gazette, has been an Indiana journalist since 1981. She writes frequently about education for The Journal Gazette opinion pages and here, where she looks at the business, politics and science of learning as it relates to northeast Indiana, the state and the nation. She can be reached at 260-461-8206 or by e-mail at