Comments about ‘Upward of $8 million spent on vouchers’

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Becker spends nearly $23 per vote, Buhler $31 in mayor's race

Published: Thursday, Nov. 8 2007 12:00 a.m. MST

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Utahn in CT

The authors of this DN article write:
"The pro-voucher PICs spent approximately $4 million, in the end receiving just 190,000 or so votes. That's about $21 per vote."

Twenty-one dollars is a drop in the bucket compared to what each Utahn should be paying to upgrade public eduation. The $4 million was well spent!


Eight Million spent and the numbers almost never changed.

Oh well, I guess it was good for the economy.


OH BROTHER!! Ever heard the expression you cant beat a dead horse? It is over already! Let this one go for now, if this was a close race I could see why it would keep coming up but enough is enough!

Wasted money

Of course the pro voucher people will never admit it but that was money wasted.

It could have paid for the vouchers themselves this year.

The people have spoken.

We like our public schools. We recognize they can be improved. We know the only way to fix them is to increase the salaries of the teachers to the point that we get a surplus of teaching candidates. Once that happens we can pick and choose from the best. That is called the free market approach. The problem is we can't do that unless the legislature provides the money to do so.

That is the solution. That is what we want to see.

Stephen in Tallahassee

I find it funny how the decision of vouchers on education was decided by those who failed to educate themselves and just followed the commands of the UEA and the NEA. Thanks Utah for messing up education for the rest of the country. We were looking for you to lead instead you will just have to follow when another state will have to show us the way to tackle poor education standards. Next time vote according to your conscience instead of following scare tactics

Just give the schools some $$$

Let's face reality. We need to fund our schools better. The public has spoken and it needs to finally be done.

My legislator in Utah County sent me a letter telling me how much they have done for education. They said how they have increased funding by so much.

In reality they have kept and even line at best.

Of course education spending has increased. The number of students has increased. When you have more kids you have to spend more.

Simple economics.

The letter I would like to see would say:

We have seen the election results. We realize we work for you. We are listening and will do all we can to improve education funding in Utah. We have this huge surplus again this year and we are finally dedicated to making our schools the best they can be by paying for good teachers.

I know, I know, I live in a dream world.


I disagree with Leah Barker's comment in the article that to have spent the 4million from advertising on scholarships to the Children First foundation would have been a temporary solution. Not so! That IS the solution. Private dollars going to private enterprise. The pro voucher movement needs to concentrate their resources on developing scholarships not on government educational subsidies. JMHO

Agree with wasted money


Let the free market approach work. Supply the money so real changes can happen in Utah.

It is the only way it will work.


Pro or con, it's sad to see that 8 million dollars was spent that had little, if any, direct benefit to education in Utah. By my calculations, that's equal to the cost of educating over 1,100 children for one year.

RE: Stephen in Tallahassee

The fact that someone from out of state is saying Utah did the wrong thing pretty much shows us we did the right thing!

Thanks for confirming our vote.

We have some of the best schools and teachers in the nation. All we need is some money to reduce class sizes and then we can show the nation what education in the USA should really be like.


17 million dollars a day!? Could we get the school districts audited?...I'd like to see what they are spending my money. Probably more for athletics then on academics.


Wasted Money: I'm generally pro-voucher, and I agree it was money wasted. The plan itself probably should have revolved around tax exemptions rather than actual hand-outs. The drafting of the bill was careless. And the voucher advocates resorted to distasteful and even underhanded tactics.

That said, there will be no significant "fixing" of the public schools as long as the UEA keeps calling the shots:

1) The UEA is unwilling to do what it takes to get equitable pay for Utah teachers if, in doing so, it puts its own institutional interests at risk. They have a virtual monopoly on the educational labor force in Utah, and could have instituted a strike any time they wanted. They haven't--most likely because even though a strike would probably be wildly successful, it would give them a black-eye in public relations.

2) The UEA does not want the accountability that will come with a free-market approach. Institutionally, it wants to keep as many of its members working (and paying dues) as possible. Individually, its members naturally fear having to truly compete for their jobs.

Think Again

Instead of pouring more money into the public schools, use some of it to "educate" a few of the pathetic parents whose children make it difficult to teach!

There, I said it. I know a lot of you were thinking it!


I don't think that investing in a political cause you believe in is a waste of money. It really is putting your money where your mouth is. In hindsight the losers will have always wasted their money.

If Vouchers had passed, it would have been the teachers unions that would have wasted their money.

I appreciate all the attention that education has recieved. Although I was for vouchers, perhaps this was a wake-up call for all involved to face the issue of improving our education system and providing our children with the best education we can.

I see some voices calling for our legislature to give more money to the schools. Just understand that the money you are calling for must come out of our pockets. As for the surpluses, one time distributions to school districts have proven in the past not to be the best strategy (Tooele cheerleading outfits instead of books comes to mind) and would not address the issue of teacher salaries.

Just my thoughts...


Stephen in Tallahassee suggests that Utahn's were led astray by big bucks from the NEA and UEA, and failed to vote their consciense.

Any accusation from either side suggesting that funding for the opposition was inappropriate, is hypocritical.

The vast majority of funds for the Pro position came from one individual, seemingly forcing his position upon the state. Interesting that so very, very few of the 35% of Utah that voted for vouchers never valued them enough to contribute.

The vast majority of funds for the Against position came from the UEA and NEA, most from outside the state of Utah, seemingly forcing outside political forces upon Utah. Not quite as important that so few Utahn's contributed to the anti position, as those against the vouchers weren't the ones trying to sell something new.


As grundle points out, much of this "surplus" is just one time money. Why doesn't the legislature allocate some of that to school infrastructure. Especially, since they were the ones that allowed the Jordan District to split - which will result in hundreds of millions of $$$$$$$$$ on both sides of the split. New schools and rehabiliation of old schools, not to mention the institutional buildings that will be needed.

Fight is FAR from over

If anyone, pro or anti voucher thinks the fight is over because of one vote, think again.

What the amounts of money spent on this campaign show me is that there are interest groups willing to spend alot of time and resources to get momentum started for their cause. We will probably see this issue for years to come, in many forms.

The question I have is why there is so much circular logic around this issue? Many taxpayers say they don't like the fact that the tax system for education in Utah is not based on a head count, meaning that a 2 person family pays as much as an 8 person family who has the same value of property.

Well, didn't Utah just vote down one solution(not THE, as there are many solutions) to the problem of no head count? If these families sent their children to private school, they would still pay the same tax, plus pay part of their own way for the more expensive private ed. So, this was a way that we could get them to pay more for their kids education, rather than using larger portions of other taxpayers' money.


Just think.... the law was studied by the legislature, voted on, the governor signed it.... It was all over and done with... no money wasted on any referendum campaign.

So, who started this fight and caused all this money to be spent?

The people who started the referendum. The TEACHERS UNION.

Fight is FAR from over

Also, why do the education unions fight against vouchers in k-12, yet they seem to support programs like FAFSA, which are tax-based grants and loans for higher education -which can be used at both private and public universities?

The only reason I have been able to figure for this is that university professorships are not unionized jobs, so there is no one to protect. Has anyone thought about the amount of times any state legislature has cut funding to universities forcing them to cut faculty members? This does not happen very often in k-12 due to the unions.

Yet, in my belief, because of the variety of choices for schools as well as funding sources in the realm of higher ed, there are obvious discrepancies in the quality and level of education between the two systems, higher ed being the one with better quality, teachers, facilities, and graduates.

Honestly, think about it, how good would our universities be if they had to tow the line for district policy makers or a centralized education board like k-12 schools do?


Paying someone for their vote is exactly how our system works. Liberals and their social programs use money taken from working people to buy votes from people on the receiving end of these programs. Look at Hillary's $5000 per child promise...she is buying votes.

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