Utah Rep. Glenn Way of Spanish Fork is sponsoring HJR16, a resolution to amend the Utah Constitution to allow the people to elect the state superintendent of public instruction rather than having him appointed by the state board. It also returns authority over direction of schools to the local boards of education.

Should this bill be successful in the Legislature, the people will have a chance to vote on it at the polls. If it finally passes, it will be a tremendous breakthrough for parental rights in Utah. No longer will our schools be run by someone the people have no voice in choosing.Fourteen states already choose their superintendent in open election. Some argue that we might end up with a state superintendent who has no Ph.D. in education or who is otherwise less qualified. However, proponents reason that teaching takes place at the student and teacher level and that a superintendent's chief strengths should be executive skills and a desire to do the will of the people in improving education. In Idaho, the primary eligibility requirement is a college education.

I can think of no excuse good enough to refuse Utahns the basic right to elect the person who presides over the training of their children. With the current and very questionable national trends in education filtering into our schools, we need to have the ability to elect a superintendent who will stand up for what Utahns want. Let the governor and your legislators hear from you in this important matter.

Ruth Lehenbauer