Finally an article by these two that I can support. We aren't in "put
a bandaid on it" mode anymore. My kids have had year after year of first
year teachers. I love their enthusiasm as they begin their careers but the lack
of experience is very telling. The districts have to spend so much money
training these new teachers and then they leave after a year or two wasting all
of that money. I hate to say it but it is time for a tax increase.
We are constantly polled as to what we want the legislature to do. We
constantly reply that we want more funding for education. Yet year after year
we get the same non-action from the legislators. Time for business leaders to
step up and demand better funding for our schools. It will only help them in
the long run.No more lowering requirements to become a teacher.
That helps no one and has made zero difference in the teacher shortage. Keep
the requirements but raise the pay for meeting those requirements. It is time.
The legislature keeps playing around with how to slice the educational pie more
effectively. But the fact is that as long as the pie stays the same size and we
keep getting more kids entering public education than leave it every year, those
slices are going to become more and more inadequate. The act is that it
doesn't matter how you arrange the numbers, they are going to add up to the
same answer. Until Utah is willing to increase that final number, the more
difficult and expensive it is going to be when it hits the tipping point into
crisis. I am speaking as a single woman with no children who pays significantly
more in state taxes than those with children being educated. But I believe it is
cheaper to educate than to incarcerate, plus it is a proven fact that those with
an education contribute more to the state tax base when they graduate.
If I stroll into an elementary school and give every teacher $50, is that going
to improve test scores for that school? Probably not. (This is the kind of
short term thinking used to discredit a long term plan to elevate Utah's
education system.)Do Utahns, who fundamentally distrust government
and detest any kind of taxation, have the long term vision, willpower and most
of all, *patience* to truly elevate Utah above mediocrity? By their choice of
political leaders - no.Put a different way, how many gifted,
talented Utah kids went to college, and scoffed at the idea of becoming a
teacher? Answer: more than anyone wants to know.This problem has
been brewing for multiple decades. It will take at least a generation of
sustained effort to bring us up to average, let alone aspire to be #1. There are a lot more whizbang, painless, get-awesomeness-quick schemes
for our Legislature to go through before we will commit any more tax money to
this problem. Don't believe me? Here, take some $20 bills
down to the local elementary school, hand them out, and watch the test scores...
When the income tax was cut in 2007, it was dropped from 7% to 5%. This removed
hundreds of millions from public education. Our Schools Now increases it to
5.8%. That would take us from 50th in funding to 49th. Why can't we be
willing to do that for our future?
We need to quit saying we are funding growth, because in truth we are not. We
are funding growth at the same inadequate level that we are funding current
students. This is the reason that class size continues to grow even when we
"fund growth". Let's use an example, I only give my
child 75% of the food they need to be healthy, I add two children to the family
but I only increase the food budget by 3/4 of the true cost to feed a child for
each of the children. I am not funding growth, I am funding growth -25% per
child. With a child's food needs, I can cut some corners and get by on 75%
for a little while, but I can't do it forever without the child suffering.
So it is with the education system, we have tried to get by with a 75% or lower
effort and we have reached the point where that will no longer work without
Mr. Webb is right about this. MA leads the nation in educational
performance because they pay teachers a respectable wage and they have the
lowest class loads in the USA. But Utah is content with mediocrity.
Our legislature will do nothing. We're lucky they're willing to barely
Don't they get federally funded. Where's the beef.
If we had not passed the constitutional amendment that allows state income tax
to go to higher ed, this would not be an issue. There would be enough for K-12.
What is telling is that while Utah's K-12 is last in the nation for
funding, our Higher Ed. funding is a bit ABOVE average.The best
solution would be to rescind that constitutional amendment that was pushed on
When 60 percent of all new teachers leave within 4 years and those who stay have
to work 2-3 jobs to make ends meet? Ummm yes, it's time for a tax increase
to actually fund education. Why should teachers only be paid
$30-40k? Why do we expect a world class education by paying Walmart salaries?
Heck, one could make a lot more money as an assistant manager at Walmart than a
school teacher. How does that make any sense???
A 17% tax increase, though no doubt needed is a bit too much to swallow."broadening the tax base"....ie tax the poor more though
regressive taxes like taxes on food, a bad idea in my opinion.Amazon
has started to collect online taxes, though not as much as I thought. This
should help starting next year. Retail is hurting and online shopping is very
healthy. There should be a national online tax rate that all states agree on,
and that last part is no doubt impossible, so maybe each state has to give
online retailers one rate to collect rather than each county and city putting
their fraction of a percent in.Broaden the tax base by increasing
the income tax .2% up to 50Km .4% from 50K-100K, and the full 7/8% from 100K up.
Put priority on early career teacher pay...they are the one's who no
longer have a pension to look forward to so their pay should be bumped.Also, why are we so generous in comparison with funding higher ed in the state
vs K-12. Even out that curve.Create a state website that has a
myriad of online resources for parents, teachers and students. Slowly build it
and let the public and school teachers contribute to it.
" Utah is consistently honored for how we conduct business, manage public
funds and interact with each other. So we should focus the "Utah Way" on
specific objectives."No, we are constantly being told how
we're the best managed state, #1 for business and #1 for growth. We should
have plenty of funding for education, unless those funds are being mismanaged
No. We don't need another tax increase. The 17.5% income tax increase
proposal is nuts. We invest between $4.5 and $5 Billion per year for
public K-12. Start budgeting higher ed first.