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Comments about ‘Gov. Herbert threatens veto of House speaker's education initiative if price tag not slashed’

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Published: Thursday, March 6 2014 5:00 p.m. MST

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DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Gov. Herbert is right on this one.

Speaker Lockhart is a good person with lots of good ideas, but this is not one of them.

Go with the Governor's plans on this issue. Do it for the children.... and the taxpayers.

Kristjhn
Bountiful, UT

What I have yet to see is any solid data that tablet computers lead to increased learning outcomes. Why spend $200 million on something that is a guess. It seems fiscally irresponsible. This feels more like a desperation tactic to get attention than a serious approach to improving education.

birder
Salt Lake City, UT

Lockhart's bill is way over the top. Technology does not automatically guarantee a better education. Two hundred million is ridiculous in today's economy. It would be much better to maintain the technology the schools already have and to provide professional development for the teachers and aides to assist in computer labs. Currently, elementary teachers are expected to keep 30 computers going with a classroom full of kids. It's pretty tough duty when there are technology glitches and there is no help.

DNEWS Rocks
Heber City, UT

Siding with the Governor and Senate on this one. Speaker Lockhart's posturing to run for Governor in two years is getting in the way of smart fiscal policy. The house leadership has taken a wrong turn. Time to get back on the right track Speaker Lockhart.

RRB
SLC, UT

For once I agree with the Governor. 25 million seems right, then fund medicaid. Utah has been known for decades as a state that under funds medical care for the poor.

dansimp
Layton, UT

This proposal is such a bad waste of money. I love technology in the school, and what a great thing it is to have so many computers available for students. But tablets are a horrendous idea. They are more expensive than desktops, easier to break, fall behind in tech quicker, are harder to find programs for, and less useful overall. All of the benefits they have, portability, stylishness, cutting edge, are all completely useless in the classroom.

bradleyc
Layton, UT

To do this right we need to spend the cash. If you cheap out you get a crappy initiative. I have been involved in these types of initiatives, when done correctly they are amazing with significant outcomes. Done poorly and ..,,

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

If we are going to spend $200 million on anything why not use it on the teachers? Hire more teachers and aides. Get the class sizes down and allow for more individual attention for students with special needs and language skills?

To me, this just seems like a $200 million dollar handout to Lockhart's friends/statement to the governor than an actual idea that would help education.

CP
Tooele, UT

I totally agree with the governor on this call. I am glad he's got the tax payers back on this one. Lockhart really does need to rethink. Why fund schools so kids can have what I call new tech "toys" in the classroom. My son-in-law in a school teacher and I think if anything teachers need it more, not spending it on new tech stuff. Good call Governor Herbert.

Eliyahu
Pleasant Grove, UT

Part of the problem with tablets is that they are limited in usefulness for academic work. Word processing is extremely difficult on them due to the lack of a tactile keyboard. Thus, any writing assignments turn into a major chore for students or they have to use other computers. My wife purchased Chromebooks for her department, and they're far more practical as well as being less costly. They're easy for the students to use, easy to maintain, and can be easily reset as needed.

The biggest problem with technology in the classroom is rapid obsolescence. Today's cutting edge technology is tomorrow's door stop. Students do need access to computers, however, and there needs to be a solution somewhere. Part of it might lie in the use of hardware which can be easily upgraded -- something impossible with tablets and difficult with notebook computers.

sayswho
Hurricane, UT

I stand with the governor. Tablets are ineffective toys when it comes to education, and their cost would put us along with California in buying things that are too expensive for our budget. The teachers have waited years for adequate compensation, if there is money to be distrubuted in the education fund, I would say to give part to them and part to needed supplies for the school so that the teachers don't have to purchase them out of their own pockets. Let's also cut the state funding of the Medicade expansion as Lockhart also has suggested and accept the federal help for the working poor. Does she really want to cut off all federal help for the State of Utah? If Utah is so flush that it can do everything on its own and buy expensive toys then maybe I should put in to the legislature to buy me a flat screen TV that I haven't been able to afford.

4. Conscientiously informed
Provo, UT

I encourage concerned citizens to read the bill before making your mind up. Don't rely on what someone else has said. I have read it and am convinced it is an excellent proposal to improve education in the state of Utah. Yes, technology alone will not improve education. The bill is about much more than putting a computer into students hands. The cost will be phased in over time. It will make a real difference in the lives of our students.

Instereo
Eureka, UT

It's good the governor can stand up on this bill. I just wonder if the money is there like the Speaker says why it doesn't go to the WPU to let districts spend on the programs they've had to cut when money was cut from them because of the recession. Are they ever going to have the money to provide basic services like so many other states are able to provide. Things like smaller class sizes, counselors, nurses in each school, and even textbooks.

Eliyahu
Pleasant Grove, UT

@ Instereo:

"and even textbooks."

Are you aware of how expensive textbooks have become in recent years? One of the reasons for increasing the use of technology is that it can replace conventional textbooks with the electronic version for significantly less. K-12 texts aren't much cheaper than the ones our college students have to buy for hundreds of dollars. Additionally, the electronic texts have interactive features that are impossible in printed texts and can be easily and quickly updated.

The question is not whether we need technology in the classrooms, but, rather, which technology gives the biggest bang for the buck. And the answer is not tablets.

Deserthiker
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Technology is great. I have little doubt that a generation from now our students will be using something like tablets. If we had unlimited funding I would say go for it! In the short term, for the kind of money Lockhart wants to throw around, there are many more pressing priorities in education funding that will yield more bang for the buck in improving schools. I think this initiative is more about attracting attention and furthering Lockhart's political ambitions than about education. Maybe its time we found a Speaker who is more interested truly helping the people of Utah and less interested in just using Medicaid and Education as levers to play political power games and to satisfy ambition. I become less and less impressed with Lockhart the more I listen to her.

GaryO
Virginia Beach, VA

Ah, the State of Utah, and it's inbuilt contradictions.

On the one hand, Utah is overwhelmingly Republican, guided by FOX "NEWS" and Right Wing Radio Entertainment heroes. In that sense, it's anti-education, because as all good Right Wingers know, the lefties control education, and there's no sense exposing impressionable young minds to that. And all that education makes it harder to inculcate a (ridiculous and unworkable) Right Wing ideology in those young minds.

On the other hand, Utah is predominantly Mormon. Practicality, pragmatism, and education have always been valued in Mormon culture.

So we have Mormon practicality and an appreciation for education on the one hand . . . And Right Wing Extremism and willful ignorance on the other.

It's a battle of Good against Evil.

I hope the good guys win.

stuff
Provo, UT

$200 Million for short-lived technology? That cannot be a serious consideration. It's flat-out laughable.

Is she really holding up the entire budget bill over this absurd proposal? That would be very arrogant of her and would be detrimental to so many individuals in this state, directly and indirectly.

I won't be quite as nice as I think Lockhart has plainly lost her marbles. She's way more than a half bubble off plumb. She's not even in the ball park.

She's lost any future votes, if she ever runs again, as I have lost any confidence I once had in her.

wecandobetter
logan, UT

I love the concept of a legacy bill,
is this really about the children's education
or is it about you Speaker Lockhart?
Don't plan on my vote in 2016!

docport1
,

Having the highest class sizes in the United States and some of the lowest paid teachers the Governor seems to have low expectations for his state's future and some pretty mixed up priorities.

John Brown 1000
Laketown, UT

Data, data, data, data, data!

I work for a billion dollar technology company, and Lockhart's reasoning is laughable.

Lockhart needs to show DATA that going to tablets significantly increases education outcomes above PCs, laptops, and plain old paper books in all key areas--language arts, math, science, etc.

Show. Us. The. Data.

Getting something because it's a shiny new technology ("it's time to take us out of the 19th century") is one of the WORST reasons for making a change. Because when it doesn't make a hill of beans worth of of difference, we waste all the money AND time invested. Especially the time of kids who could have had something better.

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