If we are calling this a winning session for education, then we have pretty low
priorities. We continue to add 16,000 new students each year, and in the last
10 years the percentage of income that Utahn's pay has steady decreased.
in 2002 Utah was 11th in the nation in percentage of income spent on education.
In 10 years that ranking has dropped to 39th, while adding over 160,000 new
students to the system. Contrary to what we are reading k-12 has
not been fully funded,and I would expect to see class sizes continue to
increase. Yes this year was the best in 3 years, but that is not saying much.
Utahn's are getting far more out their education system than they are
paying for, but that is changing, teachers can no longer work the miracles they
have been working for the last 30 years in the largest and most underfunded
classes in America. Its to bad we in Utah don't value our kids more than
we value our 4 wheelers and boats and big houses.
Although the legislature did indeed do better than in recent years, it's
still annualized patch, patch, patch in education. Teachers in Utah will remain
woefully undercompensated, overburdened, underappreciated as TRUE professionals,
and, given testing, continue micromanaged and discouraged. Utah is into
geometric population growth, and until we recognize that the long-term funding
needs of K-12 will not be met until long-term planning is involved, with new
streams of revenue developed for stability, the K-12 system will increasingly be
swamped. Just about all the figures, all the studies provide vivid proof that
Utah is and will otherwise continue to fail its children where education is
involved. It's not too late yet to reverse the trend, but it is
imperative that the long-term planning commence now and the new streams of
revenue be put in place.