Our public school system represents our nation's commitment to helping all children dream their dreams and achieve them. But, if we're being honest, that aspiration of a great public education for every child has never been totally fulfilled — even in Utah. As we begin another school year, I ask all citizens of our great state, especially our teachers, parents and community partners, to reclaim the promise of public education. In so doing, we can fulfill our collective responsibility to enable individual opportunity for all children.

The promise of public education is under attack. It is under attack by those who think the answer to providing a high quality education is to starve our schools. It is under attack by those who see public education as the last frontier to privatize.

We can reclaim the promise of public education by fighting for neighborhood public schools that are safe, welcoming places; where teachers are well-prepared, supported, and can teach an engaging, well-rounded curriculum; and where children have access to wraparound services to meet their emotional, social and health needs.

With one voice, parents, students, teachers and community partners can reclaim the promise of a quality public education for all.

Brad Asay, American Federation of Teachers Utah