Comments about ‘Utah political insiders wary of ending compulsory education’

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Published: Monday, July 29 2013 4:25 p.m. MDT

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Sandy, UT

Oh yeah, let's not do anything to lessen the influence and mandatory edicts of government. After all, the great Obama and many others have taught us that more government will surely solve all the problems of mankind and make us all happy and content. Gotta have Super Nanny there to make sure all goes well and everything's fair and equitable. Uh huh.

Heidi T.
Farmington, UT

Knowing I am in the minority, I have not moved in my support of the bill to end compulsory education. I believe we should limit testing, stop running after kids whose parents do not support their attendance, and get on with seriously educating kids who are at school.

Sandy, UT

There are countries all over the world where children are not forced to be educated. And we see the results. There's almost a perfect correlation between economic success and level of education among the populace. Abolishing mandatory education for children would result in a dramatic decrease in the quality of life for ALL citizens. I agree with reviews of education -- through vouchers, home schooling options, charter schools, etc. -- but not in any way diminishing mandatory education requirements and/or access to.

Layton, UT

While I do believe it is important that compulsory education laws not be changed, it is very important that the regulations for number of days in school each year be eliminated. The number of hours spend in school is fine but eliminate the number of days to allow for schools, districts and communities to set their own timeline for school attendance. The 4 day school week would be awesome... and save money.

Kings Court
Alpine, UT

If Osmond would like to create a motivational factor to get parents on the ball and get their kids to school and achieving, the solution is simple. Connect the child income tax credits to attendance and achievement. Insurance companies give discounts to students who do well in school. The state should follow suit. Parents who shirk their responsibility can pay the full tax rate because an uneducated child is going to be a financial burden on the state and the state might as well start collecting now to build those prisons and ramp up the welfare programs.

The Reader
Layton, UT

If compulsory education were eliminated within 12 years we would have a large population of young adults without a basic education. We would doom those ex-students to a life of low or no wage earners. It is now difficult for someone with only a high school education to find a job that will comfortably feed and clothe a family.

Senator Osmond has serious rocks in his head. A very dumb idea!!

Maybe the Osmonds can afford private schools, but the vast majority of citizens can not!!

Farmington, UT

Why don't we just end the compulsory funding by taxation of schools? That would be self-governing, I believe.

Herriman, UT

I'm glad the Senator broached the issue for public discussion. As a long time educator who knows from personal experience about student nonattendance and it's impact on daily schooling practices I am amazed at why we let students and their parents off the hook. Those who don't want to attend regularly have a negative impact on how schools are judged, especially when it comes to test scores. Those students scores, or the lack thereof, bring down a school's test score average. Which brings down a school's rating. Which lets people who have no clue about what takes place in that school think that "school A is not very good!" This brings me back to "why do we make people attend who do not want to attend?" I can be an excellent teacher, and was considered one of the best before changing jobs in the education sector, and there were still going to be students who didn't want to attend, no matter what I did. But if that student doesn't show up I am going to be judged for their low score? Fair?

Farmington, UT


Yes, you are going to need to be rated on your performance. Is it "fair" to just include all the students who think you walk on water? Almost every job has some drawbacks in one form or another so just put up with it or find something else to do for a living. Teachers are legendary for griping. I attended a taxation hearing where the percent of property for the school district was proposed to rise by double digits and one teacher said "I love to teach your children, just not so many of them." This was the same hearing where the district financial officer apologized to teachers that family health insurance coverage was going to cost $100 a month. (Mine was $19,000 a year at the time.)

I agree we need to do something with problem students, but complaining about teacher evaluations doesn't get any sympathy from me. Life is tough for all of us and teachers want to live in la-la-land. Sorry, deal with the unique issues in your profession like others do with their jobs.

Herriman, UT

@toosmartforyou: not griping at all. But explain to all please how you can judge someone's performance when they are being graded, in part, by the nonperformance of those who are not attending? In the business world a person who does attend gets fired. In education we don't fire students. They get advanced through the system because of their age. As to dealing with the unique issues in my profession I have several proposals, one being to remove students from school during any given semester if they miss more than 15% of any given quarter. They can return the following semester. Another is that if we are going to judge a teacher for the performance of their students on those end of year tests then students must pass those tests at a minimum level to be able to advance in grade level. Then based on the varying scores of those students you can at least try to measure that teacher's effectiveness. I don't need sympathy at all. Don't expect it. Just respect sir.

Sandy, UT

After spending thirty plus years in public elementary education, believe me, most of the problems with getting kids to school regularly are parents. Kids should not suffer because they have poor parents who are too lazy to get them to school, exploit them for babysitting or put them to work in their businesses. Without compulsory education, many more children would suffer more than now. Many citizens would be amazed at the number of children who miss more than 20 days of school - an entire month.

Mamma C

Senator Osmond said his intent is not, and never was, to limit or block educational access to the state's at-risk students, but rather to question "the efficacy of compulsory education, which emphasizes attendance rather than achievement." That says it all. Children are not serving jailtime. So why the compulsion to attend, as if school were jail? Let the families decide how to run families. School should be a privilege, not a mandate. Osmond's idea makes sense.

Highland, UT

Compulsory education with compulsory taxation necessary to fund government schools only makes it that much harder for the population to unlearn statism.


You can force a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. What makes so many of you think that just because we demand every student puts in his time at school, that he's getting an education? I can't think of a single instance in history where 'compulsion' has ended well. Can you? It starts with mandating that everyone goes to school, and then we start tightening the noose by requiring common core standards. And then we start worrying that maybe the homeschool kids aren't complying, so we demand they come to school, too. We adopted German educational philosophies long ago. Will we follow suit and also outlaw homeschooling next because we just can't trust the parents? Freedom has always been risky business. I believe there are better ways than force to make education attractive to all our kids and I'm glad someone has been brave enough to open up the conversation.

Mike Handy

We are confusing the issue. This is not about taxation, this is not about school evaluation, this is not about parental choice. This is about making opportunities available for kids. The model I see being proposed in the comments--@Kings Court excepted--would destroy educational access for the kids who need it most. Educated families will find a way to have their children educated, no matter what it costs. Uneducated families will not be as likely to do so--and that will create a self-perpetuating cycle of poverty and ignorance.
It's long past time the educational debate in this state (in this country) shifts past what's most cost-effective, what will improve test scores, and who is in control and gets back to what the question should always have been: what's best for kids.

USS Enterprise, UT

To "utahprincipal801" if the problem is that we have bad parents who don't care much about educating their kids, why not have the state just take away those kids? Isn't that what all liberals want anyway?

What is the difference in outcomes for a child that drops out of school at age 12 vs. a child who's parents don't care about education and let their child fail every course?

If the issue is getting kids prepared for advanced education, the best thing you could do would be to let the kids that don't want to learn go out into the world and begin a career early. You eliminate the kids who don't want to learn from the classroom and you add to the taxbase all at once.


This is so ridiculous. The government should be able to tell minors to go to school. That's why they are minors. Any parent who would opt NOT to send their child to school, shouldn't be a parent in the first place.


Maybe we should have a discussion about whether it's the state's place to tell parents whether or not they can force their kids to sell drugs...

Mcallen, TX

The words mandatory, or compulsory, are un-American:

* four of five people in America at the poverty line--DH July 30, 2013
* if each food stamp feeds three, our government is feeding over half our people--USA Today 2/24/13
* a third of our college graduates from other countries? DH May 2013
* seventy percent of our engineers, chemist, medical people, etc from other countries-DH 2013
* our country spends more money on education than all countries combined--Washington Post
* America had a higher literacy rate in 1790 than it does today with no compulsory education. Williamsburg Virginia museum

Does compulsory education really work?

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

So worf, back in the good old days when our schools "worked", did they have compulsory education? I'm sure you were born after the time period set by newsies when the luckier children got to sell newspapers while the unluckier ones could go work in the factory.

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