We already have great teachers young and old in the state.......I wish people
would quit focusing on teachers as the "problem". "Carman" like
a lot of other people in Utah, continue to focus on teachers. "Carman"
suggests 3 things to improve education but he doesn't even mention the only
thing we need to improve schools.......lowering class size. Lower class size
and the teachers will be able to do their jobs better. Extending the school day
and year is just extending the problem when you could lower class numbers and
get the job done. You've never been in a classroom and witnessed a
classroom of 27 first graders, second graders etc.... at the end of the day if
you are suggesting longer days and school year. Let Utah teachers experience the
national average of 15-18 students in a classroom and many things will improve.
Teachers would overwhelmingly choose lowering class size than getting a pay
"increasing funding for teachers union members"You mean
paying teachers a livable wage, so they can devote their time to educating your
kids without having to worry about how they are going to feed their own kids?
I remember the complaints in the '90's about the percentage of school
district budgets that went to administrative overhead. Wouldn't it be
wonderful, the public school critics dreamed, if more money could get "to
the end of the row" (classrooms and teachers). Then the critics pushed
charter schools, where an even smaller portion of each school's budget
makes it to the end of the row. Ask any school auditor what percent of a
charter school's budget goes to administrative services, and you find it to
be significantly higher than regular district schools. You'll also find
this bloated flow of taxpayer money going to corporate educational service
providers who lobbied so hard for charter schools in the first place.
Regular public education is one of the few places where children from more
difficult backgrounds may find some opportunity to excel and end the cycle of
"generational poverty." But Utah's swerve to the hard right in
recent years has had our state spending less and less of each year's
revenue on education. Then when charter schools became popular, even more money
was diverted from the education of the regular and special needs students to
favor the selective charter schools. (aside: Don't claim that charters
accept all students. They only draw from a pool of families with motivated
parents ready to do more than other struggling parents can do, then they
selectively counsel out the more difficult students back to the district
schools)Right-wing "patriots" say they believe in the
American dream, but do not want the disadvantaged students to participate. They
If "the glory of God is intelligence," then Utah can't be aiming
Bob Pomeroy:40 students, whether they be 7 year-olds or 6th graders
or 8th graders or HS age is problematic. I'm sorry you misunderstood the
satire (I wasn't saying that those teachers with 35 or 37 had it easy--that
situation is sick and wrong!). My own situation is entirely accurate (five
classes of 40 plus students). While handling 40 7-year-olds may be harder or
whatever, and that could be debatable on some fronts, having 225 overall
students and trying to give meaningful one-on-one attention and evaluate their
work isn't all that great of a situation. Hopefully we could both agree
on that as I try to point out the absurdity of class sizes many of our public
school teachers face at whatever level.
So much of the money pumped into education is wasted, and doesn't lead to
improvement. We hold the record for educational funding, and no matter how much
is spent, more will be needed.Our country is sixteen trillion in
debt, and some just don't get the idea of being frugal. Sixteen trillion
equals $500,000 for every second in a year. It's not going to be pleasant
when it's pay back time, and we get fore closed on.We're
not getting what we pay for.
If money was the answer, our kids would be well educated. Half our people are on
welfare, and half our doctors, engineers, and chemist are from other
countries.Utah took the right step by reducing spending. We need to
focus on teaching,and learning, rather then accountability, and programs.
"Utah doesn't have a teachers' union? Why do kids get two days off
from school each fall so the teachers' union can have their
convention?"Where have you been?FYI: It is now known
as Fall Break.For the past several years, in my district at least,
Fall Break has not been at the same time as the UEA convention. Teachers who
want to go to the UEA must take an (unpaid) personal day and pay $55 to cover
hey coach! Do you think it possible that the students in your 40+ classes are
possibly more mature and more engaged in group activities than 40+ 7 year-olds?
Maybe you should try them on for size before you make your comparison.
out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh, and so many speak of
their preference for money rather than feeding the children what they need to be
productive. there is some sense to the position that too much money is spent
buying the 'new generation' of texts for 'no child left
behind', which in itself cripples public schools. Someone needs to clarify
'teachers' unions' in Utah for those posters who get their
information from a single, nationally-focused, source. it's ok for you to
go anti-social 'isrred' (supra), but children are inherently
catcrazed,thank youlifelong repub,Utah doesn't have
a teachers' union? Why do kids get two days off from school each fall so
the teachers' union can have their convention?
Old proverb:You get what you pay for.A cheap $ education
pays for a cheap [shoddy] education.
They are going in the right direction cutting cost but they need to go a lot
farther to reach the level of economics we are living in. Our economic level and
standard poverty is pre 1980 levels and that is all we can sustain.Utah education considers their budget as a personal base line gift to grow and
profit and fund special interest and developers. Educating children doesn't
make them money. Putting the budget in the class room and educating children is
not profitable so budget funds are diverted to other uses. What is not diverted
is called the funding ratio and blaming tax payers for not paying enough, yet
Utah has the highest education budget in the country.In "cost
effective" education they maintain high population student to teacher ratios
to reduce and fire teachers, a 35:1 ratio seems to be the established ratio. The
Utah system itself builds in its own roadblocks in education that over stress
teachers and students to maintain a high student to teacher ratio.Now that federal funding is declining we can cut billions from free
international education paid to a million foreign nationals in Utah and our
It is funny to see numbers like 37 and 35 tossed around. Most people don't
think these numbers are real, exaggerated by teachers and their supporters.
However, classes of over 40 are plentiful at the secondary level in many core
classes. In fact, I teach five classes of 40 plus students and so do many of my
comrades. I can only wish for a class of 35 or 37...
How am I supposed to teach so many children to use technology when I can't
get the funding to provide a computer to each of them?I also teach
34 sixth graders, nine of whom are below grade level, and in special education.
They would do a lot better if I could provide some electronic devices for them.
I could also use a full time aide....but all of that costs money.My kids
do learn. Both myself and parents work hard to see to that. Still, I wish that
I had the money to provide more opportunities for them. Thanks for all those
people who who given their tax dollars to education. We try not to waste any of
it. We pay taxes, too. We know that money is precious. Any one have creative
ideas for raising more?
Money does not guarantee the success of a school but the lack of it will
guarantee the failure each generation. There must be a better
balance between fiscal responsibility and common sense. Teaching a
room of 37+ kids in a classroom is not teaching, it is hoping. Elementary
should be capped at 20 students. Jr/Sr High English, science, math, language
classes should also be capped at 25.
I will use the last of my four comments to refute Seek To Understand's
incomplete and misleading argument. What the research shows is that education
outcomes are influenced most by 1) Time in the classroom focused on learning
(length of school day/year) 2) A strong student work ethic. 3)
Hiring/retaining talented teachers who care 4) Involved parents/family that read
to young children, don't do their work for them, expect it to be done well,
and expect children to not give up when learning to solve problems.This is exactly how KIPP transformed education in poor, inner city
neighborhoods. The children put in LONG days and are EXPECTED to do well.
Another key point is that summer vacation is too long for most children.
Children from wealthy families retain/improve over the summer, but most children
slide backwards. That's what the research says. Having a bunch of 20
somethings in the classroom is a key cultural problem that Utah needs to face up
to. And it WILL take more money to fix this problem, because the market is
telling us that current wages are too low to retain the best young teachers.
Utah is doing a great job with their budget. I am so proud to live in a state
that understands fiscal responsibility, and where our leaders don't allow
emotional blackmail to deter them from it. Other states I have lived in are
suffering immensely right now because their leaders just couldn't say no
when they should have.High quality education can be delivered at the
price we have to spend in Utah. We just need the expertise to make it happen in
every school. If any one of our schools can provide excellent outcomes at the
current funding level, then all of them could if they had the will and the
knowledge. Thank goodness research has conclusively shown, over and
over and over, that academic achievement is not dependent upon price paid for
Welcome to Utah "stack em deep and teach em cheap". We already spend
$4,000 less than the average state now. Go into classrooms across the state and
see classes of 35+ students and then complain that teachers are not getting it
done. Blame the teachers, blame their association, blame the PTA, but
don't blame parents, don't blame kids and don't blame a state who
doesn't value education. One of life's realities is we
put our money into things we value, and we don't value education. The
percentage of the budget spent for education is really irrelevant. We have a
significantly higher percentage of our population in 6-18 age than any other
state, of course that should indicate we would spend a higher percentage of the
budget. The more accurate figure is how much Utahn's spend on education as
a percentage of their income. That number has declined steadily in the last 10
years thanks to the Huntsman tax cuts. We are middle of the pack in that
statistic. I would call what the legislature has done a lot of different
things, but responsible wouldn't be one of them.
We need to 1) extend the school day. 2) Extend the school year (e.g. Japan is
in school fully 50 days a year more, with longer school days) 3) Pay our best
teachers, those with a proven track record and 5+ years of experience,
significantly more so they won't be forced back to school and into
industry, or into higher paying administrative jobs. This is critical in math,
science, statistics, critical thinking, key language arts such as communication
and writing. We just cannot continue to burn through 22-28 year old teachers,
get them effective and trained, and then see them leave the classroom. We have
WAY too many 20 and 30 something teachers teaching AP classes. The difference
is night and day outside of Utah in better districts where effective math
teachers are well paid. They stay in the classroom because they love what they
do. They even TURN DOWN administrative roles because they want to stay in the
classroom.We need to get serious, and make drastic changes soon.
Every year we wait we become less competitive in the global economy, and lose a
significant percentage of our children to mediocrity.
This is what happens when you give state income tax breaks to the very people
who are overburdening the education the system the most by having tons of
This is an education disaster. It means that students will either have to take
on more debt for post secondary remedial course work, or will not be able to
obtain sufficient post secondary education to be able to work in the 21st
century economy. Ultimately this means more unemployment, more underemployment,
more poverty, and more stress on families.We already have one of the
shortest school years in the world, and below average performance in math and
science when compared to first and second world nations (and even some third
world nations). Unless we get serious about expecting more from our schools and
students, and unless we get compensation and time in the classroom up, the
situation will not improve. Continuing to do the same thing will not get us
While I agree with being fiscally conservative, and tightening belts when
needed, at some point a failure to adequately invest in the future is just plain
stupid.Utah is below average in Mathematics and Science, and average
to below average in language arts when comparing apples-to-apples demographic
cohorts on standardized tests like the ACT. We hire too many young teachers,
allow too many of our best teachers in math and science to leave for better
paying administrative jobs or jobs in industry because we don't pay
teachers enough to support a family with even a reasonable lifestyle.We certainly don't need East coast heavy handed unionized teachers
bullying taxpayers into absurd wage and benefit packages. But we also need to
prepare our children for the 21st century job market which means increasing our
math, science and language arts performance. Nearly three quarters of Utah
students are unprepared for college level coursework in at least half of the
four key subjests. And over half are unprepared in THREE of the four key of the
four key subjects.
Perhaps Utah government has been doing a bit of wealth redistribution themselves
by spending all this money on roads.I am certain that investing in
education will provide a greater return on that investment than investing in
roads.It is time for a more balanced approach to governing and
government spending. Why would a state that is so often heralded as the best
managed state in the country, also be one of the worst in education spending?
Does poor funding of education reflect a well-managed state?Are
legislators simply trying to punish the teachers union? Punish the PTA by not
funding education properly and sending tremendous increases to road
construction?Why are so many conservatives against funding
education? I can't figure that out. It doesn't make sense.
Don't we want our kids to compete globally, nationally? Don't we want
our kids to be future small-business owners, to understand the constitution, to
write well, to read well? I hear many conservative say educators
can do the job with what they have. So teachers scrimp and use their own money
to purchase classroom supplies. Is this acceptable? I will hold
political leaders accountable.
Doesn't the legislature have the ability to designate funds to education
and direct where and how that money is to be spent? I feel it is disengenuous
to state that the teachers union or PTA will somehow reach into designated
education funds and snatch those moneys from the schools. Or somehow the
teachers unions have infiltrated the school districts and schools and they steal
that money so they can go to Lagoon, or contribute the funds to their favorite
Democratic candidate. This simply doesn't happen.If education
funds are being mispent then the legislature should be held accountable, as
should the school districts and schools. But do an audit to find out!Why has transportation spending increased multiple times over during the past
few years, while education spending has dropped 8%? Sometimes I feel roads are
being worked on to simply keep people employed, which is a good thing. But
couldn't they also be employed by fixing up schools, or building new
schools? Couldn't we hire new teachers to reduce the student/teacher
ratio?Why must we settle for last in the country on per pupil
How many times will ignorance reveal itself on these message boards? Utah
doesn't have a teachers union. You guys crack me up with phrases like
"left wing", "bureaucrats", and "percentage of the total
budget". Hilarious stuff. The reality is we are pathetic in this state
when it comes to education funding. Guess what. If I choose to have 20 kids,
you can bet a large "percentage of the total budget" will be going
towards food in my house. Well we have chosen to have many kids in our state so
we'd better expect a HUGE "percentage of the total budget" will go
towards education.Just hilarious to see the pathetic excuses our
public makes in the name of conservative thinking. And this is
coming from a Republican.
This is sad. Even sadder are the lame attempts by the first few posters to
paint this as a rosy picture for our kids.I recently went to the
local junior high and found no less than 37 seventh graders in a science class.
Now think about teaching the little darlings in church. Most complain when they
have a "big" group of 8 kids to deal with in their sunday school class.
Now put THIRTY-SEVEN of them in one spot and try to teach them a complicated
subject like science. There is no way it is going to bode well for
our kids or our state's future.While you can chime away about
being financially responsible and fiscally conservative, you are condemning your
own kids and grandkids to a less than it should be and less than it could be
education.Cheer all you want but this is just sad.
Bravo, Utah! That is the best we can do? Lets compare education funding to road
funding. I guarantee we are not near the bottom in road construction. Our Utah
legislature is choking education to death, until they can take public education
and make it a private or voucher program. There is only one reason we fund roads
like we do, it is the only way our honest legislatures can get their hands on
tax money. It is amazing how many of our legislature members are affiliated with
private our charter schools. There involvement is not because of concern for
education students it is to get their hands on tax payers money.
Probably just taking the UEA and PTA at their word from their argument back in
2007 that extra dollars in the education system did NOT affect class size or
teacher pay when they were arguing against the Voucher bill.
Hardly objective journalism, relying only comments from two left wing groups
dedicated to increasing funding for the teachers' union members, and from
the head bureaucrat in the Utah education establishment. Next time
how about asking them "how much is enough?" for education, and "Why
should taxpayers have to constantly cut their budgets in order to pay for more
school funding?"This is just the latest in the unrelenting
propaganda effort to constantly increase education funding for teachers'
unions and bureaucrats, not to improve education outcomes.The
"government skool" system in this country is broken, and the first step
to fixing it is to ignore the special interest groups like those in the article
which have been instrumental in the decline in our schools over the last 50
years.Bravo to the legislature for making the tough choices in
budget realities. And, to those who have helped get Charter schools going, the
legions of home schoolers, and also to the many fine public school teachers who
truly excel at educating children. But, not the union drones or bureaucrats who
place their interests ahead of the students or the taxpayers.
The state website does a very good job explaining the budget, and it is worth
looking at. Utah allocates 28% of the total budget to public education and an
additional 11% to higher education. In contrast to the "per-pupil"
figures, Utah ranks very high when comparing the percentage of the total budget
committed to education.
Excellent! Utah's leaders recognized that spending must be reduced when the
economy struggles. Sometimes, belts just need tightening. The only other options
are to: A. Raise taxes on already struggling households; or B. Put these
students into debt (they're the generation that will pay it all offer,
after all) with unfunded government spending. Utah took the harder - but correct
and fiscally responsible - route. Bravo, Utah!