In the 2013 session, Reid will sponsor a constitutional amendment to provide the general control and supervision of the public education system and higher education system to the governor. In order for the amendment to pass, it must receive two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate and voter approval in the 2014 election. Governors will appoint the state school board and state superintendent in consultation with state school board and confirmation of the Senate. This authority will end the confusion of so many hands on the steering wheel, enabling an efficient, seamless education system to fuel greater economic growth.
All but one of the top 10 performing states in student achievement identified by Education Week has gubernatorial authority over public education. The governor either selects the state school board or state superintendent or both. This change could elevate the State Office of Education to a Utah Department of Education with the state superintendent as a member of the governor's cabinet.
It's time Utah establishes that, when it comes to public education, the buck stops with the governor.
Howard Stephenson is a Utah State senator and the chair of the Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee. Cody Jenkins is an intern from the Hinckley Institute of Politics.