Becker spends nearly $23 per vote, Buhler $31 in mayor's race
Thank you Utahns! In Minnesota, Charter schools are the big push to 'save'
education - these are non-district, but publicly funded. Interestingly, when
when the US Dept of Education just this last year compared Charter and other
private schools to traditional public schools, they found no achievement gap
(the Rand Corp. hired by the State of California found similar results on
Charter schools vs. public district schools.) A recent University of Illinois
study showed little or no gap between parochial and public schools when
comparing math education. Those who argue that competition will raise
performance and lower costs will need to explain why, when public and private
colleges are competing for students, costs have risen far faster than inflation.
The NEA as the bogeyman argument from the other side is simply because they
really have no answer or plan themselves...my experience here is that they
usually are simply 'no taxes' types or want a break while putting there kids
through private school - the well being of the public school kids is not really
Sounds like poor losers. The issue is dead. It was wrong headed to begin with
and now its gone. Im sure the egos of the folks on the hill will make them bring
it up again in another form but I think the people are smart enough to know
hogwash when they see and smell it.
Sure, Ed. Bramble, Curtis, and Stephenson just sat around one day (no doubt in
an ornately paneled, dimly lit, smoke-filled room) and said "Ah HA! Let's
destroy education for the common man! Vouchers are just the ticket--at least,
until we can pass a bill requiring every public school student and teacher to
keep two pounds of nuclear waste in their pillowcases!" 'Cause, you know, it's
impossible for any reasonable, rational people to honestly disagree with your
point of view--obviously, they just hate children. Maybe they even eat them,
roasted, for Christmas dinner.
Another thing that they didn't take into account is that Buhler and Becker both
had to buy 2 votes, one in the primary and then more in the General election.
So if you look at it that way Buhler didn't spend as much per vote, and was
certainly nowhere near the $250 Keith Christensen spent for every one of his
I commend Ed on his willingness to share his opinion. However, I disagree with
the idea that attendance will enhance the education. There are many students who
miss few if any classes yet continue to learn little. Homework every night,
exposure to immoral behaviour in the halls and the idea planted that average is
good. It would be different if the public system wasn't overwhelmed with
sub-par teachers and administrators. Sorry Ed but the product you are producing
wouldn't stand a chance in the real world market place. We wonder why we have
the issue we do today in our society. Let's look at where they were educated.
There are good teachers and bad teachers - even Ed would have to admit that.
How do schools get rid of the bad teachers? Unfortunately teachers
just have to hang on long enough to get tenur and they can coast the rest of
your career. Almost all my kids are adults now. Two of them had Pat Rusk as a
teacher and she was great. But if the UEA was truely concerned with the
education of children as their primary goal then why don't the propose a
no-holds-barred accountability program and clean up their own act instead of
doing what poor Ed does and just make excuses. Maybe we would have more
teachers like Pat. Let's hear the "more excuses to follow" Ed.If
you voted for vouchers you got sucked in by Ed and his gang. My guess is that
80% of the voters never even read the bill but just did what the UEA and NEA
spent a fortune telling them. Sheep!I read it - it was a good bill.
For those who feel that all of this money spent in Utah for education goes to
waste, due to administrative overheads and athletics....Well, the people on the
eastside of the Salt Lake Valley just voted to split away from Jordan School
District. If the Court of Appeals in Denver doesn't throw out the election
results then those people have voted to create a WHOLE NEW BUREACRACY....a whole
NEW layer...now THAT is a waste. It would have been better to allow the
districts to increase the number of members of their school board to allow for
better representation but you have some people who just want POWER. Finally, the voucher proponents will be back. Make no doubt about it. The
next voucher bill will be much more simplified. They will take out the
provision for parochial schools and will in all likelihood try to have it done
on a trial basis, maybe in the Salt Lake Valley or in Utah County. But it will
be back because Mr. Curtis, Mr. Bramble and Mr. Stephenson want to destroy
education for the common man. These are men not to be trusted and should be
How do we improve education? 1. Insist that students attend
school. Absenteeism rates are ridiculous, and then parents want to excuse
absences that are sluffs because they don't want to hold their student to their
responsibilities of attending school and working in classes. 2.
Insist that teachers TEACH. Wow, coming from a teacher? Yes, and those
teachers who do not teach should be worked with to improve their skills and if
they do not, then they should be removed. The processes are in place in every
district statewide and are used. 3. How do we make teachers
accountable? That seems to be a topic of discussion. Unfortunately, I can be
the best teacher in the world but over my 23 years of teaching I have found,
unfortunately...that I can't get about 10-15% of my students to want to do
ANYTHING. Is that my fault? No. Most private sector companies would probably
have a similar percentage rate of non-productive students. The only problem for
educators is that we can't kick those kids out of school. But we CAN continue
to work with them..and we DO! That's the beauty of education. More to follow
As a public school teacher I am amazed at the comments as to how the UEA and the
NEA do not want to "lose their power" and allow for the "free market" to come in
and prove how much better it is. Public schools have to take EVERY student,
private schools don't. Special ed, gifted and talented, behaviorally
disordered, you name it...we WANT those kids because those kids are the adults
of America TOMORROW. People who favor vouchers because they want their students
to go to private schools: please....place them there. In those private
schools. Just don't ask for a change in the rules because you want an
additional tax break. It is the responsibility, as we have shouldered this over
the last 75 or so years...of ALL UTAHNS..and ALL AMERICANS...to pay for the
future of our society. The PRIMARY way we do this is through the public
education system. It is not perfect....it is a work in progress. I have a few
ideas as to how to improve it and that will be in a future installment.
I find it interesting the divide on this issue. The people I would normally
support were on the other side. But, the big difference here is all of the
supporters would and probably do sent there children to private schools. I too
want the best education for my children; but the voucher would still not enable
me to send my children there.
Let's see, we have approx. 400,000 students in Utah public schools. 8,000,000
divided by 400,000 equals $20 per student at $2 a lunch we could have fed these
students for 10 days. More nutrition than they would ever get in the over
crowded classroom. Wake up Utah, communism is against the predominant religion.
PTA and Public education is the least free institutions in our state.
Anonymous wrote, "Parents are searching for alternatives because Utah public
schools are average at best." Isn't it interesting that we get schools that are
"average at best" considering the fact that our per pupil spending and teacher
salaries are so low? Seems to me we get a pretty good bang for our educational
buck in Utah.
Vouchers were slapped down by 2-1. This is America. It's the land of "may the
best man (or idea) win." Vouchers were not a better idea than the current
system. Public schools have flaws, but vouchers had more. The people have
decided. If you folks want to improve education, go back to the
drawing board and come up with a better idea. Then we'll talk and vote again.
But whining about the defeat of vouchers certainly doesn't help the kids.
You know, what's missing from this whole debate is that with "rights" comes
"responsibility".No wait, I get it. You have a right to a
government sponsored handout - while the rest of us have a responsibility to
fund it. Makes perfect sense - in an oreo sort of way.
I did not know that the Union could vote.I know they can spend money
on ads (at least they didn't use the "Utahns are Morons with Oreos" ad), but
their vote counts nothing.If the bill had been in Utah's best
interest all of the Union Money in the world would have not been able to stop
it. (Didn't we say the pro-voucher crowd spent most of the money on the
campaign?)This is America. It is not only the Right, but the DUTY
of Americans to point out unfairness and the exercise of poor judgement of the
legislatures and governors. Thank you to the NEA and UEA for protecting us from
our elected leaders.The time for whining and blaming (sour grapes)
is over. BYU has a football game tonight.
Anybody notice the similarities between Socialized medicine and socialized
schooling ...errr public schools..? Oh that's right the NEA who garnishes wages
from teachers (which is really tax payer money) in 20 of the 50 states-- as of
2003-- actually does support and promote socialized medicine. They also promote
and have tried to push through to educate students about Gender sensitivity just
like the Governator did so wonderfully in California.! Shouldn't the money that
was funded to the UEA by the NEA have gone to the kids. That was tax payer money
and I didn't say they could use my part for marketing schemes. Welcome to
Socialist America!!! Hillary Care here we come!
Re:Stephen in TallahasseeI'm sure that people living in a state that
argues about "chads" and "disenfranchised" voters would want someone else to
decide the hard things for them. So you're welcome.I'm proud to live in a
state where we have the ability to think for ourselves and vote the way we
believe. If this was not the case the measure would have won easily since the
"whos-who" of supporters were all high ranking GOP members.Utahns are
usually accused of being in lock-step with the GOP aren't we? But we
weren't just sheep following the NEA/UEA shepard either. Utahns have a
higher than average literacy rate and we are very capable of reading the
arguments for and against issues. Unfortunately for the whiners out there, the
argument against vouchers was a better one.The comments on these stories
only continue the rhetoric of the pro-voucher argument. All emotion and no
substance. The sky isn't falling.Additionally, this vote is proof that
Democracy is alive and well. The PEOPLE can change, or in this case undo, what
our elected Representatives do.
The people have spoken. Nobody was swayed by the advertising campaigns and I
doubt that anyone voted blindly on this issue. Simply put, vouchers are not
what the people of Utah want for our children's education. It's
rather unfortunate that the Utah majority had to force our legislature and
governor into repealing the bill that they supposedly signed in our interest.
It's obvious now that they were not representing their constituencies, but
rather those of the lobbyists and private spenders. The bill was poorly drafted
and unconstitutional. Public money simply can not be handed over to private
institutions so carelessly. Let's make the increased discussion and
attention worthwhile and look at other ways in which we can improve one of the
best education systems in the nation. Good things are happening, but we can
Let's face it. The Utah referendum was merely the next battle in a nationwide
attack by right-wing ideologists on public schools and the status quo in an
effort to privatize education. The dismantling of the public education system in
favor of privatized education is the ultimate goal of such groups as Parents for
Choice in Education (PCE) who veil their goals in euphemisms that on the surface
sound noble and good like "parental choice". These groups are opportunists and
really thought they had an opportunity to get their foot in the door in very
Republican Utah by appealing to the notion of privatization and free market
policies which are generally more readily embraced by Republicans. The voucher
issue is essentially a very conservative new-thinking policy being foisted upon
what they thought would be a receptive political environment (and was in the
Utah legislature). But they did not take into consideration the
fact that many hold public education as a dear, even sacred, institution that
shouldn't be altered lightly. The reason it got even this far and passed into
law is that the PCE and other organizations have been cultivating like-minded
Republican candidates at the Republican caucus level.
Anonymous at 11:07 said the union started the fight.Wrong they ended
the fight.The people that started it were the legislators that
passed a bill that vast majority of the public sees as wrong. They
started it when they held back money from our school children.Thanks
goodness the union has enough organization to stand up to legislators that pass
lousy bills.They should be thanked.
We as Americans are so short sighted. As "great" as our education system is in
Utah, it is more a result of the strong family values then it is of the
education system itself. And even then we are still way behind when compared
with countries in Europe and Asia. The voucher program wouldn't have been
perfect but at least it would've been something, an attempt to change the status
quo. The public school system has failure built right into it because it is
focused on everyone watching there own backs instead of the kids. The higher up
the food chain you go, the truer this becomes. Throwing more money at the
problem will not fix the underlying issues. The only way to fix the underlying
issues is to change the structure. But because of the "watch my back"
mentality, that will never happen unless public schools are forced to compete.
They are going to fight kicking and screaming to make sure they don't have to.
The UEA and NEA does just that by unleashing misleading information on a voting
public that doesn't seem to want to take time to really understand the issue.
In your "solution", you failed to take into account the income tax (100% of
which goes towards education). If you look at all education tax money, these
parents wouldn't pay the "same tax" since the parents would get the 500-3000
income tax credit which reduces their tax burden.Not only do two
person families get property taxed the same as a six person family, they pay
significantly less income taxes. Thus, the "head tax" is really on the backs of
those with no heads to educate! We in Utah seriously need to look at deductions
and child credits on our income tax laws. While I'm not a proponent of a direct
head tax, I am totally against unlimited deductions in a culture that has the
highest birth rate in the nation. And, I have 4 kids, all of them currently in
the public education system.
I agree with grundle. You win some you lose some. However it is up to us as
parents to work with the teachers and our children to build a better teaching
environment. Please understand that the NEA and UEA along with politicians DO
NOT want to solve this issue. They need the issue because it gives them power
each election cycle. They must have it to survive. Teachers Unions have never
cared about the students or making education better. They want the money and the
issue so that they can preserve their power. Do not be fooled by them.
Re-Holladay You make it sound like $17 mil per day is a lot - it averages
$29. per day per student based on 586,087 Utah public school students. If you
want to know where the money is going visit your local school district offices
and talk to the Business Administrator (that's the money person) that individual
will show you where the money is going. It goes to salaries and benefits, pays
utilities, textbooks, equipment, etc.
Money is spent on winning and losing sides of every election by candidates and
on behalf of propositions and referendums. It's called the democratic process.
To suggest that pro voucher money was wasted and anti-voucher money was well
spent is ridiculous and reflects the obvious bias of the authors and the Deseret
News. You like your public schools? That might be the most alarming
comment of all. Parents are searching for alternatives because Utah public
schools are average at best. Where will the money come from to
increase salaries of teachers and how does simply increasing salaries guarantee
a corresponding increase in the quality of education? It would require $1.6
billion to get to the national average of $8,468 per student. I could be wrong,
but that sounds like a tax increase for citizens who would not even support a
tax increase for much needed public safety facilities. Everyone seems to agree
an increase in funding is needed but voting against school vouchers has only
managed to maintain the status quo. Wait until it comes time to foot the bill
for a meaningful upgrade. We will find out then how much you all really care
about public education.
Think if you were restricted to going to the university closest to your home,
and lastly, think if those student loans you are still paying off or those
federal pell grants were not available. Would you have gone to
college? Would your university have had the level of quality and education that
it had? How would the professors have been? The facilities?The
FAFSA programs are great programs that help some of the most deserving people
get through school at some of the nation's best colleges, and our higher ed
system is better off because of what is comparitively a "Federal voucher
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
Ditto!Let the free market approach work. Supply the money so real
changes can happen in Utah.It is the only way it will work.
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
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 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
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.
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!
Eight Million spent and the numbers almost never changed. Oh well,
I guess it was good for the economy.
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!