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Comments about ‘Richard Davis: Utah has no excuse for short-changing education’

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Published: Wednesday, May 1 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Kent C. DeForrest
Provo, UT

Thanks, Richard, for an informative editorial about a problem the Republicans think will go away if they ignore it. I found it interesting that all of the specific proposals to raise money for education came from Democrats. Aaron Osmond got mentioned, but I didn't see any specifics coming from him. The rest of the state GOP is just silent on the issue.

jotab
Salt Lake City, UT

Osmond's preschool initiative was an excellent plan but was shot down by ideological purists. King and Briscoe ran their bills this past session but neither one could get out of committee. The R's talk a good game but vote NO on any substantial new funding. Where are the R's proposals? They only thing they want to spend money on are pet projects not the basics.

We are barely keeping up with growth this year and that is not even considering the past 3 or 4 years when we didn't, not to mention the cuts that local districts had to make up for on their own.

1conservative
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

Cuts to local school districts?

What "cuts" are those? My property taxes go up almost every year for the school districts' revenue enhancements.

Come ask me about volunteering more money for the schools when they reduce a few of their 6 figure salaries at the district offices.

Why don't the democrats focus a LITTLE on the ridiculous salaries and waste at the district offices, rather than continually asking for MORE money?

the old switcharoo
mesa, AZ

I agree. All the problems solved when we are old we be by the kindergarteners of today. You don't WANT that cure for cancer while you're on your death bed?

jotab
Salt Lake City, UT

1Conservative, yes Granite School District did raise taxes once. They raised taxes 1 dollar for every ten dollars they cut. The increase was even endorsed by Howard Stephenson and the Utah Taxpayers Association.

They eliminated more than 70 positions. They cut 5 days off of teacher contracts. Which was over a $1000 pay cut for most teachers. They have cut programs. They have raised class sizes. They have postponed maintenance items, purchases of equipment, and other capital expenses.

No, I am not a GSD employee but a citizen who has taken the time to find out the information by attending school board meetings.

Utah has the lowest administrative overhead in the nation by the way.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

jotab:

Stop confusing people with facts!

high school fan
Huntington, UT

Utah spends lots of money on education but the amount per student is down because we have lots of kids, well educated kids. While most states are shuttering school buildings utah is not because of our abundance of youth. While not perfect, we get Abigail bang for our buck here in this pretty great state.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "One idea is to raise the severance tax."

Yeah, let's raise taxes. That's the one-size-fits-all liberal "solution" to EVERY "problem."

Come back and see us when there's a real problem. Then we can talk.

In the mean time, EVERY Utah kid who wants a good primary/secondary education has that opportunity.

And "higher" Ed needs to demonstrate throwing more money at it will actually help, not just build more unneeded physical plant, endow a few more posh, honorary, non-teaching chairs, or fund employment of a few more post-docs to finish the research they should have done on their theses.

1covey
Salt Lake City, UT

Too bad we can't come up with a tax on parents who don't support their children's education. I.E. Allow children too much time watching TV, playing computer games; not making sure they do homework; don't spend time reading with them. Maybe parents whose children make less than "C" grade work should pay extra taxes. Too bad politicians and some educators come up with hair-brained ideas like "no child left behind" (actually, this meant all get left behind). Too bad our previously moral culture has been trashed. Money cannot fix any of these problems. Education? Good luck, but we don't deserve it.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I agree that Utah (or any other State) has any business short changing education. But I'm always disapointed when a person starts their arguement with the per-pupil-spending arguement. SPENDING is not a good criteria to use to judge a State's commitment OR success in education. When a person opens with per-pupil-spending as their reason for doubting Utah's commitment to education and then goes on and on about spending... I have to question their real motivation. You CAN have an excellent education system without participating in the spending escalation game we have in the United States today (with each State competing with the other states to see who can spend the most, and the even bigger competition to not be the State that's on the bottom).

We have much room to improve... but just rampoing up spending will magically do it IMO.

The spending game is a game nobody can win. so why play?
If Utah increased their spending... that would just put another State on the bottom, so now THEY must increase THEIR spending... where does it stop? It doesn't! Focus on something besides spending!

HS Fan
Salt Lake City, UT

I always have a good chuckle when I hear some Republican refer to us a family oriented state and investing in our children. They and the constituents that keep putting these people in office are hypocrites, plain and simple. People with large families and legislators who support them don't pay their own way and want society to subsidize their life styles. Nothing will change until society demands people be held accountable for their choices.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

HS Fan
Spoken like a true "bitter_Democrat"...

How do you know Republicans don't pay their way? You can't lump everybody based on their party (Hint.. some Republicans DO pay taxes). Utah Democrats have a corner on paying taxes.

And how do you know all "parent's with large families" don't pay their own way? I have several neighbors with large families that are also very financially successful. I know they pay a lot in taxes AND donate their time and $$ at our local schools. So how do you group all "People with large families" into one stereotype and blame all "People with large families" as "not paying their own way"??

You can claim "people with large families", or "Republicans" don't pay their own way. But that's just rhetoric, not reality.

If you want to get real... is it possible that the POOR don't pay their own way? Especially poor parents with large families? I know actually saying that is terrible... but isn't it true?

I have nothing against the poor. I think we owe them a good education. But doesn't the same thing goes for the vilianous "People with large families"?

HS Fan
Salt Lake City, UT

2 bits-
A generalization on my part for sure. Many Republicans do pay more than their fair share. But, we live in a one party state and the controlling party sets the agenda. Their tax agenda is designed to favor large families with much of the expense thrown at the feet of single people or couples with small families (not to mention those that buy alcholic beverages at a state controlled liquor store). My wife does taxes and she says it is amazing how many returns she does for families in this state that make over 100k a year and pay little to no state income taxes ( 7-10 deductions can do that). No objective person would say that's fair or illustrating personal responsibilty for their choices. It's social welfare, plain and simple. I've raised two kids, that have gone thru the public education system. I'm grateful for good teachers who work hard but feel frustrated at the general populace who ignores the simple reality that our school system is under funded.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

HS Fan
You can blame it on Republicans... but I dare guess that if Democrats were in control today... Utah would not be much different (because they would still be representing the same people). We would still have limited funds. We would still have more priorities than dollars. Putting Democrats in control doesn't magically change that. And IF we put Democrats in control and they jacked up taxes so the government had so much money that no priority went unpaid.... you would find them out of office and Republcans back in office pretty quick.

Utah has slightly larger families than other states, but not all that much. ALL States spend more on educating large families than they do small families, and single people pay for educating other people's children in every State in the United States. We are no different than other states in that respect. But Utahn's DO tend to have lower incomes than most states. That's a problem. you can't have the highest per-pupil-spending in a state with larger than average families and LOWER than average incomes.

Electing Democrats doesn't change our incomes OR our family sizes.

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