Utah Dems fire at GOP lawmakers in defense of teachers, SLC School District

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  • Cordwainer Bird Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 12:49 a.m.

    I too listened to the recording. How very strange that House Speaker Becky Lockhart could not grasp the idea of teamwork for school boards or the suggestion that gridlock can be avoided and effectiveness can come when those voting in the minority support the majority after a decision is made. (It's a lesson that Washington would do well to learn). Yet, Lockhart sided with Clara and flayed school board member Jodee Sundberg from Alpine for even suggesting the idea.

    The strange/ironic part is Lockhart's recent quote to the media when she was questioned about recent gerrymandering and her refusal to release redistricting documents to the public. She stated:

    "When a family has a fight, they don't do it on the front lawn."
    --House Speaker Becky Lockhart, R-Provo.

    I guess that's all well and good for the Utah State Legislature. But when it comes to the school boards, she wants to know all the gritty details? If Lockhart really wants to improve public ed, she needs to stop micromanaging from her Speaker's chair. Might I even suggest a run for the Provo School Board (instead of delighting ambitions for the governor's chair).

  • Steve Cottrell Centerville, UT
    Aug. 31, 2013 8:02 p.m.

    Time for radical changes in who is in our legislature. Let's replace this Senate and House at the next election.

    We have a local senator who has pushed for a new evaluation system for each of the last two years without even having the previous system actually used. What a waste of money--money so needed for educating our children.

    Just one more example of the waste propagated by our legislature as they claim to support public education.

  • RWSmith6 Providence, UT
    Aug. 31, 2013 1:36 p.m.

    Our governor, who calls education his number one priority, and our legislators, who refuse even to consider the development of a reliable, dedicated stream of revenue for the funding of K-12 in Utah, are courting disaster. Only a few days into the new school year, word is out that class size has ballooned in many school districts, temporary (and inadequate) facilities are here and there being used, and once again teachers are being asked to do more with too little support.

    Now, were all of this by way of surprise, a phenomenon in a lean year, we could sympathize with the governor and legislators. Something that has been brewing for years can be no surprise, though. Year after year, Republicans in control of the executive and legislative branches have fumbled the ball on funding education. They have repeatedly refused to confront head-on the state's nation-leading birthrate by doing what has to be done before population again doubles, then quintuples--develop a dedicated, reliable stream of revenue that will gradually bring the state's system of public education to the level of acceptability that will encourage robust economic development.

  • beehive801 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2013 12:49 p.m.

    I listened to the tape of this portion of the meeting. It was appalling to hear our legislative leaders, especially House Speaker Becky Lockhart trash an individual (SLC Superintendent McKell Withers) by name in a public meeting. He was not even there to defend himself. Not only did they entertain the inflammatory allegations made by Clara but they encouraged them, egging him on to engage in even more slanderous discussion. The way Lockhart treated school board member Jodee Sundberg from Alpine also was reprehensible. It was a complete abuse of power, and I was ashamed for the state of Utah. With leaders like these setting the agenda for public education in Utah, there is little hope for improvement and no hope whatsoever that the Beehive State will ever move out of last place in the amount it spends on education. After listening to the meeting, I was more convinced than ever that our legislative leaders are not out to find solutions for public ed, but instead are looking for ways to destroy it.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 6:27 p.m.

    The comment that "Our schools are not failing our students. Our Republican leaders are failing our schools" should be tempered with at the Federal level it is both the Republican and Democratic leaders not leading but failing our systems.

    Unfortunately, in Utah, where the education of children has been one of the highest priorities since 1847, it is not so with our legislators. Education is one of the high end budget items but the distaste for teachers and administrators of districts and schools is appalling in a state that should be working to make the system better. It is amazing how much public money has been dumped into pseudo or imitation public type schools with a business manager running the school and letting teachers paint their own classroom to help alleviate costs instead of educating students with their time. The business manager pinches the dollars even though on the first of October students will go back to a real public school but the money doesn't follow the student. Public schools, a hiss and a by-word with legislators and some school board members in some districts.

    I remember when Senate leader showed his dislike for real public schools.