Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Jane Kinsel talks to her fourth-grade class about the directions north, south, east and west during class at Midway Elementary School in Midway.

There's a saying by educators that in grades one through three you learn to read and after that you read to learn. This is why the early grades are so important. It's also important that we have lower class sizes in those classes so teachers can do a better job of teaching. Senate Minority Whip Karen Morgan recognizes this and has introduced SB31 which will reduce class sizes in those grade levels.

Critics question that with limited resources is this idea good for all schools? My answer to that is if schools have the first three grades with students in them, then it is a good idea. Other critics want to know if the class size issue is as important as giving performance pay to teachers. Let's not muddy the waters. Teacher performance pay is a different issue that needs addressing but not to replace SB31.

SB31 should be given the highest priority on the list of things legislators should do for Utah education. It's a baby step in the right direction of adequate funding for our education system.

Bob Van Velkinburgh