Education bills that will shift decisionmaking authority to the school level and boost the availability of technology in the schools have won the praise of the Utah Education Association.

The bills were signed into law Thursday by Gov. Norm Bangerter.The site-based decisionmaking measure will divide $800,000 among up to 20 schools over a three-year period to help them develop innovative programs.

"Site-based decisionmaking in schools is one of the most talked-about reforms of the day," said UEA President Lily Eskelsen. "It's a proven principle that works well for businesses and has the potential for doing the same in schools."

State and local school boards have said they are willing to waive rules and regulations, on a case-by-case basis, to facilitate the local decisionmaking.

The state's appropriation of $11.9 million to continue a high-technology thrust also will benefit the schools, said Eskelsen. The program is expected to continue for at least two more years.

"The graduation of more computer-literate young people will mean a great job market for them and a better employee market for companies thinking about moving here," she said.