Utah Legislature accepts $101 million in federal 'funny money' for education

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  • Utah Dem Ogden, UT
    Nov. 19, 2010 4:26 p.m.

    Mariposa - Sorry I don't believe your comment that school districts spent the money already - what information do you have to prove your statement?

    Redshirt - and if the school districts would have refused the money how would the legislature have rectified the $50 million shortfall in education? Of course, but short changes education once again, that's right. Our legislators are just as greedy with federal dollars as anyone yet they play this game of We don't want your money but here is my pocket so please fill it.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Nov. 19, 2010 3:02 p.m.

    Education is rather a simple procedure. We have really made it complicated and grossly expensive. Legislators, law makers, and school districts form meetings figuring out how to spend more. No matter how much money goes into education, there will always be a need/want for more.

    A trillion seconds equal 32,000 years and our country is in debt fourteen trillion dollars. Let's cool it with the spending. There are many ways to cut the budget without laying off workers.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Nov. 19, 2010 10:53 a.m.

    To the liberals and other of your ilk. You claim to want freedom for individuals, yet all you really want is to impose your will on those that may choose differently.

    The article, in speaking of the Federal resolution, stated "And the resolution states that if lawmakers didn't take the funds, the U.S. Department of Education will give the money directly to Utah school districts "in a violation of the classic principles of federalism." "

    So, if the legislature said no, the districts would have received the money anyway. Personally, I think the lawmakers should have said no, and sent a message to the country.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Nov. 18, 2010 11:36 p.m.

    Funny how money creates greed and deception.

    A voice of warning! Never allow a government to control education.

  • David Centerville, UT
    Nov. 18, 2010 7:32 p.m.

    Do we have the best highway system in the US right here in Utah? When I travel to Arizona or California, the highways look much better, ride better, and don't seem to have nearly as much on-going construction as we have here in Utah.

    I think we have been told by legislators that our roads are the best in the nation...but that is simply not true.

    I also feel that legislators love to brag about how efficient we are at educating our kids. We spend the least amount of money and provide great education. Well, that is also not true. Test scores show that our kids are not performing as well anymore. Scores are dropping. I believe the only thing keeping scores at their current level is the good support that parents provide teachers.

    Imagine how great our education system could be if we provided the means to reduce class sizes, actually pay teachers so they can survive financially (not be rich, just survive), and generally improve schools! And with the help of parents we wouldn't have to be in the top 10 spenders. We could do it as #40!

  • greywulff Sandy, UT
    Nov. 18, 2010 4:19 p.m.

    Our renowned senators,specifically but not limited to Buttars and Stephenson, again top the "Richter scale" of absurdity when stating baseless claims that federal stimulus money dedicated to education and educators is equivalent to undertaking sinister dealings while snorting crack cocaine, pushed by the "Feds"
    Give us all a break, your rhetoric is an embarrasement to common sense.

  • EJM Herriman, UT
    Nov. 18, 2010 2:43 p.m.

    To Mariposa: The bad guys are the hypocrites that we have voted into the legislature and NOT the districts. The school districts, even if they had not planned for the money would have received it anyway. There are school districts in this state that did not PLAN for the money but now that it is coming they are going to put it to good use so please...get your facts straight. As to needing proof that they money was going to the school districts directly...it has been in every article concerning this money since day one. Jeepers. Please.....read the paper before you post.

  • 42istheanswer SLC, UT
    Nov. 18, 2010 12:27 p.m.

    Utah Dem, smokers played right into their hands. They are diverting money from education (smoking tax) to roads (gas tax). Brilliant for your garden variety Utah lawmaker, since most of them are not usually that brilliant.

    MariposaXochipilli, if Utah funded education better, they wouldn't be inclined to take money from the Federal Government. Granted the districts could use a little culling on the job front, but not as much as the legislature seems to want them to cut while still being able to function.

    The NJ govenor turned down the money because he was basically writing a blank check on the NJ state account to complete the tunnel. The state of NY didn't want to up for any of the money & everyone could live without the tunnel. He made the correct decision. Whish Utah legislators could actually discern when to not take $$ & when to. They seem to have it all backwards.

  • radically_independent Orem, Utah
    Nov. 18, 2010 12:07 p.m.

    How ironic. I wonder how many conservative Utahns held their noses as they cashed the Bush $500 checks he sent to everyone (except a few like me who made too much). I am sure that was completely different and those funds were as pure as the driven snow.

    Were noses being held when Utah State used federnal monies for the "Reading First Program"?

    Did the state legislature choke on the $4.2 million in federal stimulas funds they used to build the bridge down in Santa Clara?

    Was the state legislature brought to their knees when the state accepted $1.725 BILLION in federal funds for I-15 impruvements?

    I am sure just looking at themselves was hard to do after the state accepted federal funds for the Frontiers Program for childhood mental health.

    And I am sure it was a sick fest when the state used $10 million in federal money to fund the Utah Housing Corporation.

    This list goes on and on.

    But this is different though. This time it is usurping the constition. This time it is dirty money.

    The word Republicans are looking for is "integrity"... they seem to have lost theirs.

    Political grand standing!

  • MariposaXochipilli Sandy, Utah
    Nov. 18, 2010 11:51 a.m.

    People are ignoring the real bad guys here ... legislators had to take the money because irresponsible school districts have already spent it.
    Blaming the federal government makes no sense this time. Schools took this to the court of public opinion instead of holding themselves to their budgets like eveyone else has to.
    We've been given no proof the federal government would have given the money directly to school districts ... which any school district could have politely declined so as to not increase the debt to our progeny.
    Put blame where blame is due ... on those who spent the money before they had it and are forcing the rest of us to cover their backsides because of this little victim act they've perfected.

  • someonewhocares Murray, UT
    Nov. 18, 2010 10:53 a.m.

    Just goes to show you that money can still buy votes!

  • Utah Dem Ogden, UT
    Nov. 18, 2010 10:32 a.m.

    The $101 million is for education jobs. Many of you are saying it should go directly to students/classrooms, etc., but it will go toward rehiring some laid-off employees or incentives or bonuses...

    What offends me the most is that the Legislature will fill the education shortfall with half of the money and they will replace the $6 million shortfall in tobacco sales. If residents in Utah are buying tobacco products out of state of just buying less tobacco products why should those lost revenues be replaced?

  • JB32 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 18, 2010 10:09 a.m.

    I find it ironic that the Utah Legislature is complaining about the Federal government taking away their authority & decision making ability - when this is exactly what the Utah Legislature has been doing to local entities in Utah over the last few years.

  • Grover Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 18, 2010 10:03 a.m.

    How about EARMARKS??? They go directly to the person, company or project for which the are procured from the Federal government WITHOUT going to the legislature for approval and distribution. Why no condemnation of that practice from Wimmer, Lockhart, Butters and Valentine???

  • Orem Parent Orem, UT
    Nov. 18, 2010 9:04 a.m.

    Sad that the feds have to side step our OWN LEGISLATURE in order to get the money to our kids and their teachers where it belongs.

    This from the guys that paid $13,000,000 to a contractor for doing NOTHING.

    Yeah nice job guys.

    Let's call ourselves the best managed state again and send out kudos to everyone.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 18, 2010 9:00 a.m.

    'Utah legislature accepts $101 million in federal money'


    We all knew this was going to happen. Despite the claims of protest and 'financial conservatisim'...

    we see the same in Utah, every year.

    Nov. 18, 2010 8:01 a.m.

    Only a portion of it is going toward education, they say they are covering the states shortfall of 50 million, I would be ok with that if that did not include their 13 million in paying off a contractor to keep quite. And yet the have yet complained about road and medicaid money. Priorities??
    We have the nations best road system and are dead last in education funding, there is something real shaddy going on, this is the effect of the one party system in this state.

  • yarrlydarb Ogden, UT
    Nov. 18, 2010 7:55 a.m.

    It never ceases to annoy reasonable thinking people that every time the Republican party opposes a piece of legislation or government program etc., they can't restrain themselves from attaching some sort of derogatory name to whatever it is they're against such as "funny money," "obamacare" etc., etc., etc. as a way to ridicule their opponents. They cannot just debate issues as reasonable adults; they have to resort to calling names and using childish measures.

  • Springvillepoet Springville, UT
    Nov. 18, 2010 7:08 a.m.

    For years, Utah has received high marks for equity in education. The feeling is "Look what we have done with so little," so instead of understanding that perhaps a little more teacher pay and technology in the classroom will help, the legislature tries to work its way around funding education by any means possible.

    Spending is not ever the only answer to fixing education, but if the legislature would devote a little more time and money to making Utah more appealing to prospective teachers, we might see more teachers willing to stay in Utah and not forced to:

    a) spend so much of their own money in the elementary classroom, and,

    b) hold down part-time summer job to earn a livable wage.

    c) find a much higher paying job in neighboring states. (Well, at least in Nevada)

    d) feel as if the people of Utah appreciated what it takes to be a public school teacher.

  • My2Cents Kearns, UT
    Nov. 18, 2010 4:04 a.m.

    Education debacle. The real benefactors of this money will not be in education, it will be in foreign job creation.

    Does anyone really beleive that a $101 million dollars will be put in to education? They call education a priority but the only thing it is a priortity for is to divert and spend education funds on non education projects and call it an educational experience.

    The funny money will end up in funny spending.

    States have an obligation to stop greed from clouding their judgment and putting this country in to further financial disasters. If they can't see that then we have the wrong people in our government and education.

  • RSL1 Washington, UT
    Nov. 18, 2010 12:55 a.m.

    I think EJM hit it on the head. If this were a road construction project they would accept the money and celebrate. But how dare them send us money for education. It really does show us how much our legislature values education.

    road project = investment in utahs future
    education = a waste of money our children will have to pay for

    Message received loud and clear.

  • Woodyff Mapleton, UT
    Nov. 17, 2010 11:11 p.m.

    To Fair Park - in NJ the fed money did not fund the whole project, it was correct for Christie to say no. Here, what happens when those funds are gone. Accepting the money just 'kicks the can down the road'. And NJ is not the only state to say no to partially funded fed projects.

  • GQ Monkee Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 17, 2010 10:24 p.m.

    Even more interesting is the legislatures plan to usurp half of the money to make up for last year's budget shortfall. This money is meant for the hiring and compensation of teachers. Who are they hiring or compensating with last year's debt? They are accepting this money to keep it from going where it is intended. This is not an issue of States' Rights; it is an issue of political greed for which teachers and students have to suffer.

  • Slim Shady 801 Bluffdale, UT
    Nov. 17, 2010 9:33 p.m.

    Really...you hit it on the head!! The legislature really dislikes teachers, especially Stephenson.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Nov. 17, 2010 8:30 p.m.

    I think a new law needs to be passed requiring all legislators spend one week teaching in a Utah public school each year. It would be hilarious to watch what happens.

  • The Reader Layton, UT
    Nov. 17, 2010 7:39 p.m.

    An interesting thought just occurred to me. The state of Utah is dead last in per pupil spending in the united states. The members of the Utah state legislature are largely educated in the state of Utah Schools. Is there a correlation between the funding of students in the state of Utah and the lack of thoughtful intelligent legislation coming from the Utah state legislature??

    Are we as citizens of the state of Utah reeping what we have sown!!!

  • fair park Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 17, 2010 6:42 p.m.

    Does the word hypocrite mean anything to these guys?
    And in NJ, the return of the money meant for a tunnel/infrastructure improvements generating thousands of jobs, will cost both NJ and New York dearly..but if that what "principles" mean, so be it. I did think the Republics were for job creation..silly me.

  • Dixie Dan Saint George, UT
    Nov. 17, 2010 6:24 p.m.

    I suspect the real problem with the legislature is they can not control the money for their own pet projects. They would rather see 1,600+ teachers lose their jobs and class room size increase. Of course if this money came from a Republican President, then it would be a different story.

  • EJM Herriman, UT
    Nov. 17, 2010 5:16 p.m.

    Just tell me where you can go to find out who voted and how. I am amazed that people want to use THIS situation as being the one to stand on "principle" when they have been unwilling over the last 20 years to stand on "principle". It is amazing how all of a sudden our legislators develop consciences where it comes to accepting/refusing federal money. If it was for a road construcion project (do we need to go back to before the Olympics and look at how much federal $$ we accepted for the I-15 rebuild?) then no problem. Since it is for public education and how the majority on Capitol Hill feel about public education then they get their dander up. It is embarrassing and hypocritical.

  • Woodyff Mapleton, UT
    Nov. 17, 2010 5:07 p.m.

    The problem is that when the funny money dries up, then what does the state do? Should of said - No thanks like Gov. Christie of New Jersey.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 17, 2010 5:00 p.m.


    since we will have to pay for the BO's wastefull porkulus whether we take any of the money or not, we may as well take it. If opting out of accepting porkulus money meant we also opted out of having to help pay for it, I suspect our legislature would have opted out.

  • prunes Tooele, UT
    Nov. 17, 2010 4:57 p.m.

    It's interesting to note how some begin to talk out of the other side of their pie hole when dollar bills are being flashed. In accepting such a grant, we will be forced to abide by precepts which will be forthcoming. During the last century, this concept would be accepted as a blessing from either party, however, from the democrats this landfall will only aid and abet the liberalization of America and further diminish our integrity. We must learn to live within our budget or invite those who can't to move on.

  • 42istheanswer SLC, UT
    Nov. 17, 2010 3:53 p.m.

    In fairness, they didn't actually want to take the money.

    If they are so worried about deficit spending, they should stop all these federally funded road projects. I know (gasp) to even suggest the sacred cow interstates are costing everyone too much money is practiaclly blasphemy in Utah.

    Maybe if Utah employers actaully paid living wages, the problem would resolve itself.

  • dalep2u Herriman, UT
    Nov. 17, 2010 3:28 p.m.

    Love that GOP integrity.

    Vote against the Stimulas but take the money!!!!