Public education in Utah will face a significant crisis if the three tax initiatives pass in November, the chairman of the State Board of Education said Friday.
Keith T. Checketts said passage of the three tax initiatives will greatly affect the money going to education, which becomes critical because of the large number of children the state must educate.He spoke to members of Leadership Utah, a program of the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce to acquaint business people with various issues facing Utahns.
Speaking about Initiative C, the proposal to give tax credits to people sending their children to private school, Checketts said he is more concerned about the social implications of more children attending private schools than the money the state would lose.
He said private schools tend to attract the top children, leaving public schools the rest. Checketts said private schools can select the top students, choose the size of the classes and then close enrollment. That means public schools must take everybody else and crowd them into classes.
Checketts said he was told recently by a tax protestor that teachers aren't turning out a product and that's why education is coming under fire. Checketts said the product with which teachers are dealing is children and they are the future of the state and country.
"The type of children we turn out will have the biggest impact on the state," he said. A quality education for Utah children means they will have an advantage in getting into the nation's work force.
Meanwhile, other groups continued to voice opinions on the initiatives:
(BU)PTA workers who support defeat of the tax initiatives have been asked by the organization's leadership to wear green ribbons as a badge of their position.
During a Friday meeting of the PTA board with membership from across the state, President Darlene Gubler said, "In using green ribbons, we hope to remind the public that green can be a symbol of growth and unfolding, much as education encourages that growth and unfolding of our children.