Comments about ‘Dan Liljenquist: Higher education reform’

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Published: Thursday, April 24 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Fitness Freak
Salt Lake City, UT

I think what Sen. Uruqahart has done is good, but here's an even better fix.

How about funding the student, rather than the institution?

By that I mean, why not assign a certain amount of a "credit" to each student as they graduate high school to use for whatever educational pursuits they desire.

For example, give each and every Utah high school graduate $5,000.00 to spend on University, community college, or even trade school. No, they don't get cash, they get education "credits" to be paid to whatever institution they attend. REPLACE that money with all the money we shovel to higher ed., that seem intent ONLY on maintaining tenured professors 6 figure salaries.

It would FINALLY put higher ed. on notice that they must actually prepare kids for a profession,rather than their current focus of simply maintaining the status quo.

Kids would figure out pretty quick how best to spend their education credits.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Fitness Freak,
Your idea sounded great to me.

Oh wait... isn't that a lot like education "VOUCHERS"... and we all know we HATE Education Vouchers. At least if they can use them at PRIVATE schools...

Fitness Freak
Salt Lake City, UT

"2 bits" I, for one would be glad to have those education "credits" go to private schools like Everest College, College of Massage, etc., but I don't think that would pass "muster" (public money going to private schools!).

However, over the last few years the problem I see is that so many public higher education institutions have gone to liberal arts degrees while basically shoving "trades" to the back shelf.

i.e. Where can I go to a "public" institution for learn truck driving, meat cutting, barbering, etc.

How come funding for higher education ONLY goes to people who want "degrees to nowhere" (art history?).

True, SLCC does still offer SOME trades, but I suspect those (few that are still offered)don't get anything close to the amount of funding we throw at U. of U.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Fitness Freak,
How do you feel about Education Vouchers for parents of younger kids? (pre-college)

So they can pick the school their kids attend... and direct the money for educating their kids to that school...?

Fred44
Salt Lake City, Utah

2 Bits,

Normally republicans would call taking my tax money and giving it to an individual to buy services for their child redistribution of wealth and would be opposed to that, why not in this situation?

Oh and by the way, parents can pick the school their child attends now. We have open enrollment for public schools and no laws that prohibit sending your children to public schools.

Maybe a better plan would be to take the state and federal government out of the education business and let parents keep more of their tax money and buy their child's education on the open market.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Fred44,
As a Libertarian... I like that Idea. Never thought a virtual monopoly on education was what the founding fathers intended, or government's job. Education should be separate IMO.

But my practical side tells me this would lead to the gradual death of public schools... and so many people depend on them now. We are used to the government doing this for us.

I fear if we had a Voucher system... we would have a tiered system of education (top rate education for some... and bottom of the barrel education for others stuck in public schools). I don't want that (out of fairness and the future of our nation). So I oppose vouchers on that principle (and let it override my usual political leanings on stuff like this).

Orem Parent
Orem, UT

Now if we could only get rid of the amendment added by our legislature a few years back that basically stole the funding for k-12 and sent it to higher ed in the first place. There is a reason we are dead last in k-12 per pupil spending. The funds to pay for these kids was sent to higher ed when it rightfully belonged to the young ones.

Sad.

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