Comments about ‘Are Utahns ready to pay more to educate their children?’

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Published: Sunday, Jan. 26 2014 5:20 p.m. MST

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Holladay, UT

Many states use the lottery as a way to fund education. Maybe it is time for Utah to be a bit progressive for the sake of our students. Lottery is a choice, no one would be forced to spend anything, but I would rather see the money that so many Utahns go spend in Malad on Powerball come back to our students instead of going to Idaho.

provo, Utah

In Utah, where there are so many conservatives that oppose increases in spending and people trained in teaching that are not working as teachers is seems like a better idea to push a public call for volunteerism in the schools. Wouldn't that be better?

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

If it was as easy as taking more money from taxpayers, Utah would be at the bottom of every academic measurement such as graduation and ACT scores. The truth is that even with the lowest spending PER student, Utah is still in the middle of the country in nearly every academic rating system.

Now, before everyone says I am saying something I didn't, let me add:

Did I say being in the middle of the country is perfectly fine?

Just don't tell me that spending it the key driver of success. If it were, this state would be the worst academic state in the country and barack would have established the most successful economy in the history of our country.

What in Tucket?
Provo, UT

We need vouchers and Singapore math.

Orem Parent
Orem, UT

We always have been ready to pay more to fund our schools. The problem is that the politicians that have to make it happen are more worried about getting re-elected than they are about our schools. I will gladly pay a bit more in tax to lower the class sizes and pay our teachers what they are worth.

An even better idea is to charge an impact fee on all new homes being built. Of course to do that would require us to get rid of all the realtors that serve in the state legislature to go along with it. That will never happen because it will affect their own bottom line but it is an obvious thing to do.

It is pathetic that a state that says it cares so much about their children can be last in per pupil funding.

Salt Lake City, UT

If Osmond's bill passes then the they will just not fund the regular WPU because of the "new" money going directly to the schools. The problem is that now the district will face increased costs for employee health benefits, transportation costs, utility costs and other maintenance costs without any increased funds to cover it.


I would much rather spend tax money to fund education, than spend $900 million to build a new prison. Maybe if we invest in education now, there won't be a need for more prisons later.

Orem Parent
Orem, UT

Chris B you are looking at it all wrong. Just think of where our state could be if we would adequately fund our schools. I'm not saying go crazy like an Obama spending spree but better than we are doing now. Instead of being satisfied with a middle of the pack rating on the worst spending in the USA, we could be the top in the country with middle of the pack spending.

Money for sure makes a huge difference. We could be doing so much more and achieving so much more. I hope I get to see it during my lifetime.

Farmington, UT

Utahns already spend 100% of their personal income tax to fund education. How can you spend more than 100% and why don't we ever hear that statistic...all we hear about is the per-pupil funding. Look at Washington DC if you think just throwing money at it is the answer. Plus the revenues from ABC go to education, too. From where is this additional money going to come?

No, not everyone has always been willing to pay more for education. Davis County raised property taxes twice in double digits, even though many protested at the public hearing, which was really a dog-and-pony show by educators, held only to technically comply with the law.

The answers lie in education reform (fought against by the education lobby themselves---and who really ought to champion the cause), increased parental involvement, and year-round schools with teachers getting a 25 - 33% pay raise but working all year, just like EVERYBODY ELSE. Those who hold the key to the solution fight it. But that's been true for 50+ years. So let's hear yet again.....which State has the lowest per-pupil funding.....?

Salt Lake City, UT

As a 7th grade English teacher at a public school, my classroom is literally overflowing with students--no joke, I have students sitting on the floor because there is no more room to fit desks in my room, so they sit on the patch of ground by my desk or near the door. Having taught classes with 25 and now teaching classes of 40+, there's no doubt that I can be a hugely more effective teacher with lower numbers. This is the number one problem in Utah right now--not enough money to properly and effectively educate--it's more crowd control now than anything. When will we get serious about teaching out kids? If that day ever arrives, we could do some amazing things here in Utah, I'm certain of it. Now? We struggle along and do the best we can while the limited resources we have are being sunk into new standardized testing and new software that rarely works.

Sasha Pachev
Provo, UT

Try this. Pay the families for the performance of their students. You will see wonders. What is the ACT score of one student 30 worth to the state? If you paid even half of that to the family one of the parents would be able to take time off work and home school or use the money to hire a competent tutor to make it happen. The public education system seems to be stuck around the score of 21, if you throw exorbitant amounts of money at it it might give you 23, but it will not give you 30. At home with parents on the ball 30 is easily achievable.

Farmington, UT

Orem Parent, if you are so willing to spend more for education just go ahead and sent it to your local school district. I'm sure they will be thrilled to have the extra revenue. The problem with that is it isn't something they can count on every year, like taxes. The Davis District had a "one time" funding source and they spent the money on something that was "on going" so they had to raise property taxes to cover it every year after the initial year. "One time funding" didn't compute for those using the funds. And there's no way to make those doing such things accountable. They even apologized for telling new teacher hires that they would need to pay $100 a month for full coverage family health insurance. That's for 9 months of work, too. My insurance premiums that year were over $19,500. And they carped about their "low benefits."

Health Teacher

Please stop and think about what is being proposed. Any new tax or an increase in a current tax is a greater burden on the parents in most cases, whose primary role is to educate and raise their children. It is not the State's place to make it more difficult for parents to parent, and in many cases cause them to have greater financial hardship. I own a home and absolutely hate the fact that property taxes exist. Private property essentially does not exist anymore and the government is really leasing us what we think is ours. If you fail to pay your taxes you risk losing your home. Private property is a basic right for all Americans. I find this asinine that the citizens of this State continue to fund our schools through property taxes. If you have children in school, step up and pay for it. The more kids, the more you pay! It is called personal responsibility. Lets step up and find better solutions for funding public schools and let everyone who partakes in the system pay their share. I work in public schools and believe higher tax burden is not the answer.

Sugar City, ID

People keep saying the schools need more money but the way the schools currently waste money indicates that the schools have plenty of money. Or else they are poor stewards of the money they presently get. Studies show that student participation in extra curricular activities (sports, clubs, debate, drama, music, student government, student publications, etc.) is a better predictor of long term success when compared to students who don't participate. But, of all the extracurricular activities, inter school athletics is the most expensive but gives the least benefit in terms of long term success. I'd feel more supportive of more money for the schools if the schools didn't already waste thousands and thousands of dollars on frivolous inter school athletics.

open minded
Lehi, UT

Why is no one pointing out the obvious Conservative Capitalist approach of Jones's bill? She is saying pay for what you use. Stop using government subsides to raise your kids. If you have kids you should pay a larger part for their education. This is a great Conservative Capitalist idea, coming from a Democrat of all people, pay for what you use. No Freebies in life, including your child's education. If you want to have lots of kids then pay for them and stop living beyond your means by relying on a tax of the old and single people of Utah. I am a parent of 3 and feel I don't pay enough for their education.

Draper, UT

There are an estimated 131 Billion barrels of shale oil in the Uinta Basin (77 Billion recoverable with current technology). Last year, 500,000 barrels per day were produced in Alaska and the State raked in $6.3 Billion. All things being equal the currently recoverable oil would yield $2.6 Trillion in revenue for Utah. I know there would be variations, but just sayin'....

By the way, 77 Billion barrels is almost twice the amount of recoverable onshore crude oil in the US. (There is no shortage of resources, just a shortage of ingenuity and political fortitude.)

Carolyn Sharette
Sandy, UT

Where is the data that would indicate more money would increase student academic achievement, which is the primary purpose of our public schools? In fact, if you study the amounts spent on education state to state, there really is no correlation between what is spent and the academic outcomes.

Having run public charter schools for 12 years, now serving 3500 students at 5 campuses, I am quite sure that money is not the variable that is missing in Utah schools.

You find some schools highly successful on the same dollar that other schools are failing with. Some schools are successfully teaching low income and english language learner students, others are failing miserably. They all are paid roughly the same amount to educate students.

Until we are willing to take a hard look at the successes and the failures and demand that the low-performing schools reform their practices, I would not rush to infuse schools with more money. Money is not the problem.

We must find the will to do what's best for kids. We must acknowledge where the expertise lies, and then we must demand success from all schools. Money may only serve to distract us from this vital process.


Why not invest in our teachers? Teachers are burning out and leaving the profession for multiple reasons. @toosmartforyou - did you know that most teachers do work over the summer in one form or another. Most use their own (unpaid and voluntary) time during the summer to prepare for the upcoming school year. Many take professional development courses, often paying for them out of their own pockets. Others take summer jobs to supplement their income.

Ice Cream Sandwich
provo, UT

The unfortunate problem in public education is that you don't get what you pay for. And you won't know it (don't ask me why you never see it) until it's too late and the taxes are fixed.

terra nova
Park City, UT

Vouchers and parental choice will do more to help our schools than anything else.

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