Tuesday October 09, 2012 | 01:19 PM

K12 Inc., the Herndon, Va. firm at the center of a Maine Sunday Telegram investigation on virtual schools and digital learning policy in Maine, has made additional donations to Maine Republicans in recent months.

According to the latest disclosures submitted to the state ethics commission, K12 donated $2500 to the Maine Senate Republican Majority PAC at the end of August and $500 to the leadership PAC of house whip Andrew Cushing (R-Hampden) in early September.

Previously, K12 appeared to be trying to shore up its support with Democrats. On Jan. 3 it gave $500 to the House Democratic Campaign Committee, and in 2011 another $500 to the leadership PAC of Assistant Senate Minority Leader Justin Alfond (D-Portland). (Alfond was the sponsor of a digital education bill that was backed by K12 that was rejected in committee last session.) In 2011 it also gave $500 to the Empowering Maine Leadership PAC, the leadership PAC of Sen. Barry Hobbins (D-Saco), the Senate Minority Leader.

In 2010, The firm contributed $19,000 in support of Paul LePage's candidacy for governor via the RGA Maine PAC.

As the Telegram investiation showed, K12-managed virtual charter schools have a questionable track record in other states. The company has applied to manage a such a school in Maine, the Maine Virtual Academy.

As previously reported, K12 is currently under investigation in Florida for allegedly using uncertified teachers in its schools.

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Open Season is your guide to the 2014 campaign. Our team of political writers has its sights set on Maine’s major elections, from the Blaine House to the U.S. Capitol.

Steve Mistler is covering the 2014 governor's race. He covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.
Steve can be reached at 791-6345 or smistler@pressherald.com.
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Eric Russell is covering Independent Eliot Cutler during the 2014 governor's race. He is a general assignment reporter for the Portland Press Herald.
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Matt Byrne is covering Republican Paul LePage during the 2014 governor's race. He covers Falmouth, Cumberland, North Yarmouth, Yarmouth and Freeport for the Portland Press Herald.
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On Twitter: @mattbyrnePPH

Randy Billings is covering Democrat Mike Michaud during the 2014 governor's race. He covers Portland City Hall for the Portland Press Herald.
Randy can be reached at 791-6346 or rbillings@pressherald.com
On Twitter: @randybillings

Kevin Miller is covering Maine's U.S. Senate race and 1st Congressional District race. He covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald.
Kevin can be reached at 317-6256 or kmiller@pressherald.com
On Twitter: @kevinmillerdc

Michael Shepherd is covering Maine's 2nd Congressional District race. He is a news and State House reporter for the Kennebec Journal.
Michael can be reached at 621-5632 or mshepherd@centralmaine.com
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