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Comments about ‘School fees: Is Utah really family friendly?’

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Published: Wednesday, Aug. 27 2014 11:35 a.m. MDT

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Noodlekaboodle
Poplar Grove, UT

I don't get this lady. You move to a state where many people feel it's necessary to have 10 kids. You even comment how much you like the fact that you are not the only one with an oversized family. Then you complain that the schools don't have enough money.........um, why do you think the schools have no money? And the ironic thing is, because I only have one kid, I end up paying way more in taxes, don't get a fee waiver, don't get free lunch, I don't qualify for any programs. Which makes sense, the fewer kids you have, the more you should pay so someone else can have 9 kids then complain the schools aren't good enough.

GaryO
Virginia Beach, VA

The State of Wyoming has a booming economy because of its vast fossil fuel industry.

And it rakes in a lot more money in taxes per capita than Utah because of that.

The only way Utah will be able to match Wyoming's public school system is to raise taxes . . . Or find some other way to generate revenue.

Abstaining from lottery participation is a bad move for Utah.

loraleechoate
Logan, UT

I am not throwing tomatoes, I am standing up clapping! This needed to be said. I spent almost $1000 to register my three kids for school this year and also get frustrated by every single point you made.

If you decide to run for a position in the state educational board YOU HAVE MY VOTE.

mufasta
American Fork, UT

This article is funny in its, not so thinly veiled, attempts to convince readers that we need to spend even more money on education in Utah. The assertion that we need to spend as much as Wyoming is ridiculous. We have one of the most efficient educational models in the country considering amount spent per pupil vs academic achievement. This article encourages us to spend more money per pupil to marginalize academic returns. I wonder if the author of the article has family members that are teachers? Makes one wonder the motivation behind writing this article.

Liberal Ted
Salt Lake City, UT

Instead of fees, the education system needs to learn how to be efficient. They are top heavy administration and lack teachers. The focus should be on adding teachers. Removing unruly students.

Over half of our property taxes go to the schools. Along with monies collected from Utah lands etc. They have a huge budget.

The solution they come up with every year is more money. For example, I had a teacher that came in with a hang over most days. She would wear her sweat pants, dark sunglasses and put her head down on her desk. She would have a student turn out the light and put a movie in. That was my class. Now explain how paying this teacher more is going to help? Now if you have a skilled teacher, that loves teaching and students are engaged. Then it makes sense to pay more to keep that student.

KathyInCache
North Logan, UT

Amen, sister! And if your child should want to join the marching band?...watch out! We will end up paying over a $1000 this year for just one of ours for mandatory and extracurricular fees.

Lee J. Siegel
Salt Lake City, UT

I, too, disliked the fees when my stepkids were in school. But people with lots of kids get tax breaks that more than make up for the fees.

Lindsay
Payson, UT

Should have gone with the fee waiver. Maybe you could read yesterday's article on homeschooling. One mom said she only spends $150 for curriculum for the year. Sure, all the extra activities to help your kids socialize will be spendy. Maybe you should move back to Wyoming before high school as the fees are higher. Or join in fundraising efforts at school or petition the state legislature. Without PTA watchdogs the schools would have less money because everyone is after the trust lands money.

Delcore
Draper, UT

What is the difference between asking for a fee waiver and getting school services without a fee. They both come from the government. I think the idea of schools giving away computer equipment is ridiculous. Why is it OK to take other people's money in the form of taxes and give them to others in the form of computer equipment. The featured Mother says she wants to be independent, but at the same time is complaining that the government is not giving her kids computers.

isrred
South Jordan, UT

You CHOSE to have 9 kids, perhaps you should take some personal responsibility and contribute toward their education.

I have no kids, and I am more than happy to contribute my tax dollars towards a public education system to provide for a growing economy and educated populace. However, there is no reason that you--the person contributing to the stress on the system by having large families and taking more tax deductions for dependents--shouldn't contribute as well.

MaxPower
Eagle Mountain, UT

Utah talks the game, but when it comes time to walk the walk, it fails.

It essentially takes two incomes to raise a family...yet the wife belongs in the home.

We tell kids to get an education "Be Smart" from President Hinckley...yet we want to cut Student loans. So those that would benefit most from an education (the one making minimum wage selling you cheap groceries at Walmart) cannot advance in life. And when he asks for help to feed his family...we call him lazy and try to cut his food stamps.

We are pro-life...until the mother who probably cannot afford to feed her child needs assistance. But when the baby is born, the Relief Society will bring meals for a week.

We are trying to make a same-sex family anything but a family. But don't call me Monday nights...
Alcohol rips apart families...but prescription drug abuse is ok.

jody
OREM, UT

I agree with Noodlekaboodle; the reason we have such high school fees is because of large families the tax base cannot support. If you'd like to not pay school fees, move to any other state where families are generally smaller.

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

I thought conservatives believe in personal responsibility.

If you make the choice to have lots of kids then it is your responsibility to provide for them. Why should everyone else have to fork over more so you can pay less? You chose to have 9 kids, and while I'm all for contributing to the common pool for education (via tases), I shouldn't have to pay more for your kids so you can pay less.

You do make a good point about the way Utah manages its educational system here though, it is definitely a joke. The legislature would rather spend million on pet projects, payoffs (Herberts freeway scandal), defending "message bills" and fighting equality rather than put that money to good use educating the kids of Utah.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

Ms Francis,

Are you serious?

You have 9 children. At $7000 per school year per child, you will have received over $750,000 worth of education if you send all of your kids to public school for 12 years.

I presume that you have 11 deductions. Do you think that the taxes that you pay cover anywhere near that?

And you are complaining about paying some additional fees?

Gotta tell you. That takes some gall.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Maybe the letter writer is confused. The State being "family friendly" doesn't mean you won't have to pay for what your kids do (go to school, participate in activities, etc). The phrase "family friendly" isn't about money. Being "family friendly" means we encourage families (but you still have to pay the bills). You will still have to pay a little for each child and for activities they want to be involved in (even in a "family friendly" State).

The State being predominately "Conservative" also doesn't mean you won't have to pay for the things your kids do. Or that we will tax somebody else to pay for what your kids do. But being "Conservative" IS about money. It means the State will tax you as little as they possibly can... and individual families will have to care for themselves more than in a State where they will take it from another family so you don't have to pay for it.

Some people criticize Utah incessantly because they don't charge families MORE for each child. We aren't into that. But we also aren't into taxing somebody else to pay your fees.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

The bald fact is that Utah (the so-called best-managed state) does not have "one of the best education systems in the country," and it's not the fault of the teachers. With our demographic we should lead the nation in educational performance, but we stagnate in the mediocre range because we WON'T pay the price.

Last in the nation in funding is a terrible wound that will not heal.

DHScientist
SLC, UT

Fantastic article!! My parents never let us take waivers or free lunch. We worked off every fee we couldn't pay. The world needs more of that.

Mayfair
City, Ut

from article: “Please look into the fee waiver form instead,” they suggested. (Really? This conservative state encourages taking a government handout over old-fashioned work?) Although I discovered that our family did indeed qualify for fee waivers (Who doesn’t?), the independent inside of me didn’t allow such a move."

Although I understand that this mother is upset with all the mandatory school fees in Utah--I am too--I found this part very humorous:

"..while Wyoming spent over $19,000...It certainly didn’t help my children’s morale when they recently heard from Wyoming friends that high school freshmen had each received an iPad, while the sophomores through seniors were each given a new laptop."

On the one hand, this woman doesn't want to take a 'government handout' & then goes on to extoll the virtues of the 'government handout' in Wyoming schools.

Just thought it very funny she abhors taking handouts if its obvious--& doesn't mind at all if it seems a part of her Wyoming schools. SOMEBODY, somewhere, is paying for those kids in Wyoming to have free iPads & laptops given to them.

GaryO
Virginia Beach, VA

Hey mufasta –

“We have one of the most efficient educational models in the country considering amount spent per pupil vs academic achievement”

Oh I see . . . So Utah had found a way to pay very little money to provide an education for its children that is ALMOST adequate.

Good for you.

“Makes one wonder the motivation behind writing this article.”

. . . Not really.

Ever hear of “Social Responsibility?” . . . How about “Civic Duty?”

Look it up.

FT
salt lake city, UT

The commute from Evanston is only about 80 miles. One may consider if the transportation costs and superior education are cheaper than the school fees.

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