Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: Will there be tax increases for education in Utah?

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  • Aaron Gabrielson HEBER CITY, UT
    April 8, 2013 5:21 p.m.

    The numbers I used are inflation adjusted, spending has doubled in REAL dollars. Yes, class sizes are larger in Utah. Nationally huge sums have been spent reducing class sizes, also with no effect on educational outcomes.

    There are many articles that show how we have doubled the number of teachers over the last 40 years, but student enrollment has only increased 8%, while academic achievement has stagnated.

    It seems like smaller class sizes would result in improved academics, but studies do not show that to be the case.

    There is one thing that is directly correlated to improved academics. This one factor results in improved outcomes for students regardless of race, gender, and family income and that is: number of days spent in school. If the state of Utah wants to spend money that actually does something, lengthen the school year and spend more days teaching.

    But that option is never proposed, new money is always directed to more teachers, smaller classes, better buildings, more administration, more computers, whatever. Always to things that have been shown to make no difference.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    April 8, 2013 11:44 a.m.

    @ Real Maverick

    How can there be more than 100% taxation? That's what we have now---the HIGHEST amount in the United State. Every dollar of personal income tax goes to public education. If that isn't working, we need Education Refrom! Look at Washington DC if you think more money is the answer.

    Teachers are not under-paid, they are under-worked. Have them work ALL year round, just like you and me, and then give them a 25% increase. We'd need less buildings and fewer teachers. Maybe some of the poor ones could apply for work somewhere else.

    If you want to pay more, go ahead. I'm paying plenty already.

  • dalefarr South Jordan, Utah
    April 8, 2013 10:19 a.m.

    There will be an increase in taxes to fund education , not on the extractive industries as there should be, (think Wyoming)but on individuals who do not have lobbysts.

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    April 7, 2013 11:48 p.m.

    Fred 44's last comment hit the nail on the head. The No. 1 factor in your children's eduvational success is you. There is a lot to fix in our educational system, but none of it will have as big an influence as sitting down with your kids and helping them review their homework. Money is not the answer. Many European countries spend less than we do but consistently beat us in test scores.

    Simple solutions - 1) parents help your kids, 2) fire bad teachers, 3) cut administration, 4) pay good teachers more and 5) get rid of the UEA.

  • Ronald Mortensen Bountiful, Utah
    April 7, 2013 11:06 p.m.

    Good news for all those who want to pay more for public education. Now you can contribute as much as you want on your Utah income tax form thanks to SB141 which establishes an "Invest More for Education Fund"

    I assume that Webb, Osmond, Salt Lake Chamber officials and members and all of the other Utahns who tell pollsters that they support tax increases for Public Ed will contribute generously every year from now on. Why, they will probably put in so much that there will never again be a need for a tax increase.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    April 7, 2013 8:47 p.m.


    Did you look at your graph? The graph shows a class size of 15.5 in 2007. I hope that you don't think that is reflective of Utah, because in Utah we are much closer to 30. I would consider a couple of things when looking at per pupil spending and comparing it to the 70's. First you may want to account for inflation. 2nd, the government has increased the cost exponentially with additional reporting requirements, special education requirements, school lunch and breakfast, at risk programs etc., etc.. Has the real cost gone up probably, but lets also look at the additional responsibilities that schools are now shouldering due to lack of parental involvement in their children's lives. In many ways schools have assumed the responsibility of parents because parents cannot afford or choose not to be parents.

    In the 70's most parents sat down with their children and helped him with their homework. Today parents who sit down with their children and do homework are the exception not the rule. It takes parents students and teachers working together. Teachers cannot do it alone.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    April 7, 2013 8:32 p.m.

    It is obvious that more money doesn't need to be spent in Utah schools. If the schools have enough money for non-educational frivolous stuff like football, then the schools either have plenty of money or they are not spending it prudently. Either way, until the schools get serious about education, I don't think they should get more money.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    April 7, 2013 11:12 a.m.

    There should be.

    We're dead last in per pupil spending (again) and with class sizes now exceeding 40 it's a wonder how anyone can learn in our school system. It is time. Time to raise taxes.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 7, 2013 12:55 a.m.

    "If the wrong person is elected as party chair, a grave danger exists that the party will go backward, reinforcing the old image that the party is controlled by right-wing insider elitists who really don't want broader participation and who want to control the nominating process because they think they are smarter and more knowledgeable than other citizens."

    Actually, the current system doesn't favor the incumbents, the famous or wealthy, and that keeps elections more fair. The caucus system delegates, selected by their neighbors, picked the more moderate Tim Bridgewater in 2010, it was at the Primary that Mike Lee was selected as the party nominee. The voters were mad enough about TARP and ObamaCare that Sen. Bennett, who had endorsed Tim Bridgewater for the Primary, would not have likely done much better.

    Jim Dabakis has described the attack on the neighborhood election caucus system as: "The initiative is a pure power play .. Democrats, do not be manipulated into into helping the GOP insiders in their internal war. DO NOT help the initiative–DO get involved in helping Utah Democrats decide own own future by getting involved in our review of our party’s process."