Faced with a growing student population, changes to state statute and lingering budget shortfalls, public education in Utah is estimated to require $137 million to meet its obligations for the 2013-14 school year, according to the Office of the Legislative Fiscal Analyst.
The recent letter to the editor "The real problem" on Dec. 8 was rather bold in assigning blame for our education system problems. We search for people to blame for its perceived shortcomings: It's the teachers, it's the kids, it's the video games and, according to this writer, it's the parents.
The reality is that we all share responsibility for the success of public education. I'm surprised how easily we turn on each other, attacking and blaming the ones who are actually doing the work with our children (parents, teachers, educators), all the while overlooking those who have real power and responsibility for the state of education in Utah today. The Utah Legislature has much to do with our current state of affairs and could have much to do with changing things. Tight money, large class sizes, legislation to privatize and voucherize public education, more unfunded mandates and the testing regime are not parent-caused problems.
As long as we have legislators who detest the notion of public education sitting directly in charge of committees and agendas for public education, we will continue to fall short of our shared vision.