Let's get real. The average cost of educating a child in the United States may be $5,300 a year, as quoted in last Sunday's Deseret News, but Utah comes nowhere near that. In the Cache School District, we spent $1,854 last year. That's only about one-third of the national average. Many Third World countries spend more per year to educate a child than we do here in Utah. If we were spending just half the national average, we could have a textbook for every student instead of just one set per classroom, and up-to-date textbooks, at that. We could reduce class size so the teacher had a few minutes with each child after group instruction instead of just a few seconds. We in Utah would be much happier with our public education.

For three years, our family lived in a country where private schools were the norm. Agreed that not every public schoolteacher is an inspiration, but we found that not every private schoolteacher was either. We were very grateful to return to our education system where our children could go to school with the neighborhood kids, and where their future was not dependent on which private school we were able to enroll them in. If we start bleeding off public funds to help support private schooling, I honestly believe we will see a decline in the quality of our public schools and a lessening of the community spirit that surrounds them. We get a lot of bang for our education buck in Utah. I think we don't acknowledge that enough.Monti Jones