Members elected to the State Board of Education on Nov. 6 are likely to be the last chosen under current provisions.

A panel studying educational governance is likely to propose to the Legislature that starting in 1992 nominees to the board be screened by local nominating committees, with the governor selecting two names from a list created by the committee. Those two would stand for a vote by the people.At least two new members will be elected to the board in balloting next week, which involves school board Districts 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9.

Incumbents Neola Brown in District 1 and John M.R. Covey in District 3 are running unopposed.

District 7 incumbent Donald G. Christensen faces a challenge from O. Ray Warner of Alpine, Utah County.

In District 5, which has been represented by Darlene Hutchinson, voters will select either Robert F. Bennett or Frances Hatch Merrill to the board.

A contest in District 9 also will see incumbent Valerie Kelson replaced with either Harold S. Jensen, Gunnison, Sanpete County, or John H. Millecam, Vernal.

The majority of the candidates agree on the need to defeat the food-tax initiative on the November ballot, with the exception of Jensen, who said he remains open on the question; Merrill, who said she favors elimination of the food sales tax; and Warner, who said it would be all right to remove food sales taxes if the revenue could be recouped from other sources, such as alcohol and tobacco taxes.Jensen also is the only one of the candidates with a unique position on the selection of state school board members, favoring a board selected by the governor rather than the pres-ent elected board.


The district comprises most of Cache County except for Logan.

Neola Brown - A member of the board since 1981, she has been involved in a period of intense reform and restructuring of education. She is an educator with experience at all levels from elementary school through high school.

Do you support alternative certification of teachers? "It is something we must look at to fulfill our determination that every child should have an individualized educational program. I expect that alternative certification will come about, but only with careful study and observation."

Do you favor equalization of capital outlay and debt service tax income across the state? "Equalization has been part of a finance study conducted by the State Office of Education. Equal funding is essential, even if there are some problems at first as some districts lose money and others receive a greater share. We could become the most equitable system in the country with equal distribution of all funds."

What is your position on school prayer? "We need to wait and see the outcome of the Rhode Island case before Utah spends money on litigation. I feel prayer is a local issue that should be decided by students, parents and school administrators, not a policy to be set statewide. We have overdone our surveillance of prayers at the state level."


The district comprises all of Davis County plus the Washington Terrace and Uintah area of Weber County.

John M.R. Covey - A senior consultant with Covey Leadership Center, Provo, he has worked in many civic efforts, including vocational and handicapped education proj-ects and the Science Foundation. He was assistant professor of human relations at Brigham Young University.

Do you support alternative certification of teachers? "I favor it, under strong quality control standards."

Do you favor equalization of capital outlay and debt service tax income across the state? "Public education should seek to provide each child in the state as equal an educational experience as is possible."

What is your position on school prayer? "We should learn to live with our deepest differences in our pluralistic society. At school graduations, those "deepest differences" should be given proportional representation, with equal opportunity for expression."