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Education Task Force extended for one more year

Published: Thursday, March 13 2014 1:35 p.m. MDT

Inside the Capitol building in Salt Lake City.

August Miller, Deseret News Archives

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SALT LAKE CITY — A proposal to extend the Education Task Force for another year was unanimously approved by both chambers of the Utah Legislature on Thursday.

The task force was created last year with the intent of developing goals and objectives for legislation related to Utah's public schools. It is comprised of House and Senate leadership and met regularly throughout the interim of the Legislature.

Sen. Stuart Reid, R-Ogden, sponsored the original bill that created the task force and the current reauthorization bill. The bill calls for lawmakers to consider long-term plans for addressing enrollment growth and funding for education.

On Thursday, the bill was amended to include consideration on increasing the number of personal learning devices in Utah schools, following the failure of a so-called one-to-one device initiative that stalled during the session due to a lack of funding.

Laney Benedict, public relations vice president for the Utah Parent Teacher Association, said she believes the work of the task force had led to productive dialogue with lawmakers. She said the task force's meetings gave parents and educators a chance to voice their concerns outside the frenzy of the 45-day legislative session.

"I think that’s been a huge thing to have legislators on the education task force at the table with education people," Benedict said. "I think they’ve heard us, heard the education side of things. That’s been a benefit."

The bill will now go before Gov. Gary Herbert for his signature.

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