SALT LAKE CITY — The House Education Standing Committee voted Wednesday to send a bill to the full House that seeks $3 million in one-time funds to establish a Charter School Reserve Account. 

Sen. John Valentine, R-Orem, presented his SB152, which would establish the reserve account as well as create a program to enhance the credit rating of new and existing charter schools in Utah. With that credit enhancement, Valentine said, bonds for the construction of charter schools would contribute to the growth of the reserve fund and more of the schools' infrastructure cost would remain in Utah.

"We are exporting dollars to Wall Street that we could otherwise be using in our system," Valentine said.

Rep. Kraig Powell, R-Heber City, proposed an amendment to remove the $3 million dollar fiscal note but committee members voted it down, saying it would compromise the bill.

"I think it's critical," said Rep. Merlynn Newbold, R-South Jordan, said. "It is one-time money and it will be up to the board to decide whether that is included."

Valentine agreed, saying, "you take the $3 million out, you take away the state security."

The bill advanced with Powell offering the only dissenting vote.

Benjamin Wood