Democrats issue call for leadership in addressing Utah's education crisis

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  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 31, 2013 2:30 p.m.


    I think it is also interesting that the statistics have not been updated since 2009. When looking at the state budget for education in 2009-10 and the budget for 2012-13 we have added 50,000 students and the total funding, not adjusted for inflation is down a couple of percent. Now if you add in the money being spent by local districts on buildings, it will give the appearance that funding is increasing, because we have to have somewhere to house the extra 50,000 students.

    If we add 50,000 students to the system and fund those additional WPU's but cut other funding, that represents a loss. If we have to build new buildings that takes money out of the classroom that could be spent on the education of those students.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Jan. 31, 2013 8:10 a.m.

    To "Fred44" I don't think it is misleading, it probably gives a better picture of how much is being spent on education.

    Education spending is not just teachers and books, it is buildings and maintenance equipment too.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 30, 2013 9:38 p.m.


    Thanks for the website. I will have to say that the information is somewhat misleading. The current calculations include not only the weighted pupil costs but they have included the cost of building schools. Because of the steady increase in students of 10% or more each year, Utah has been forced to build many more schools in the last 30 years than any other state in the country.

    Almost 33% of the "per student cost" is school construction which would far exceed any other state in the country. This creates an apples to oranges comparison between Utah and other states, and Utah in 2008 and Utah in 1970.

    For example the community I grew up in had a high school that was built in 1920 and an elementary school that was built in the 1950's. In that community today those two buildings are gone and there are four building that have replaced those two. In that particular school district in 1970 there were ten schools, today in that district there are 26 schools.

    PCE who sponsor that website and the Utah Taxpayers Association who provided the information have an agenda that is anti public education.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Jan. 30, 2013 5:06 p.m.

    These tests have also been watered down from those of thirty/forty years ago.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 3:14 p.m.

    To "Fred44" go to the web site Utah Education Facts. I did get my numbers wrong. It is since the 1970's that spending has doubled.

    If you look at the national trends, and assume that Utah has followed the same trends, we spend more and get nothing for it. If you go to "American College Testing (ACT) score\1\ averages, by sex: 1970 to 1997" at the National Center for Educational Statistics, from 1970 to 1990 (ACT test was changed in 1990), the test scores remained relatively flat. Then, from 1990 to 1997, the test scores improved by .4 points. Fro 1997 to 2011 we improved by .2 points. In other words we doubled spending for .6 points difference in ACT scores.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Jan. 30, 2013 2:01 p.m.

    @Pagan---But Bush doubled the debt, and Obama didn't. Reagan tripled it, and Barry didn't. Sheesh! That's not an excuse for seven trillion in four years, and no budget.

    @RedShirt---I couldn't say it any better. I totally agree with you

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 30, 2013 1:27 p.m.


    You also forgot to include the non illegal immigrants who send their children to school for free lunch and breakfast many of which come from those large families we promote. Those same families are paying about the same amount as the illegal immigrants are paying for education.

    That money that church members payed is deductible on your tax return as a charitable donation.

    RedShirt could you cite your source for the doubling in funding adjusted for inflation since 1980, I am having a hard time believing that one. If by chance you are correct it is because you have not included any calculation in their for the more than doubling of the number of students that are being educated.

    Now the one thing that has more than doubled is the amount of paperwork that the state and federal government require from schools and school district, which is partially responsible for the increase in money not going to the classroom.

    I will agree though that district offices are typically still top heavy even with the additional mandates.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 12:09 p.m.

    Look at the waste in the education system. Since the 1980's, we have nearly doubled funding to education (adjusted for inflation) on a per pupil basis. According to the liberals, we should see improvements in test results. The problem is that we have not seen any significant improvement.

    Now, if you want to improve education, here is something to fix. Currently the US averages about 60% of the money earmarked for education actually making it to the classroom. Where is that 40% going?

    Lets trim the fat in the school districts, and even within the schools themselves. You could probably save even more money if you dumped all educational software licenses and computer based testing. Why can't the teachers teach, and figure out what level the kids are at?

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Jan. 30, 2013 9:48 a.m.

    You can go to any state, and be told they're education are amongst the lowest in something.

    This is a tool for adding funds.

    Of course, do as the feds. Don't have a budget plan, and people can't see where money is being spent. In the passed four years, almost seven trillion dollars were added to the debt, and nobody knows where it went. oops! At least our taxes didn't go up a single dime in any form.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Jan. 30, 2013 9:30 a.m.

    The government cycle:

    * exaggerate a crisis
    * display great concern
    * propose new research based programs
    * create a need for added funding
    * pass new requirements

    Wait a few years, and start the cycle again.

    Soon the infrastructure, discrimination, healthcare, poor people, and environmental cycle will resurface, and plunge us further in debt.

    I don't know why the American people allow this to continue.

  • Flames6 North Salt Lake, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 8:38 a.m.

    There might not be a realistic fix if spending per pupil is the fix. We live in a state where we marry young, are taught to have huge families, are awash in illegal immigrants who send their children for free breakfast, lunch, and education. And then much of the population gives their first 10% to their church. That is some tough math whether it is a Demo or a Republican trying to figure it out.

    Honest question here because I don't know how it works. When a church member pays a tithe, is that money counted toward your taxable income? If it isn't, then there is some of our tax base woes right there.

  • Capsaicin Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 11:00 p.m.

    What crisis. The one they made up?

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 10:57 p.m.

    Vote Democrats into office because they love to spend others hard-earned money for their unionistic agenda?

    That's cute.

    Regan tripled the debt.

    W. Bush doubled the debt.

    Obama? Has done neither.

    Regan raised the debt ceiling x18 times.

    W. Bush? x7 times.

    Obama? x3 times.

    When you complain about the debt...

    why would we vote Republican?

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 7:41 p.m.

    Probably even a higher percentage would say children should have good dental care, too.

    It's amazing how the NEA and the UEA tend to be in lock-step. Here's their agenda:
    1) More taxes.
    2) Even more taxes.
    3) No education reform.
    4) Strengthen teacher's unions so they can demand: More money from taxpayers.
    5) Focus on the only statistic that matters: Per-Pupil Funding. (Stated in every public hearing in Utah since the 1950's.)
    6) Finally: Demand more money because that is the fix to everything wrong in education. (Just look at Washington DC if you believe that!)
    7) Vote Democrats into office because they love to spend others hard-earned money for their unionistic agenda.
    8) Dominate any public hearing before any school board proposing to raise taxes by taking hours and saying things like "I just LOVE to teach your children, but I don't want to have to teach so many of them." Extoll the virtues of "higher taxes" and then insist anyone with an opposing view be limited to 2 minutes in the hearing after you've personally taken almost 30.
    9) Insist teachers be "recession proof" by supporting raising taxes again and again.