Public may vote on eliminating tax exemption to fund schools

Bill would give $400M to schools but at expense of big families

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  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    Oct. 22, 2013 11:24 a.m.


    I already answered that question, but I'll do so again. Challenger school only admits who they want to admit. You must apply to go to school there, and if accepted, maintain good grades. They make you re-apply every year to make sure you are doing well.

    How are they not going to get good results from their graduates, if their graduates are required to produce good results to stay in the school?! Meanwhile, public schools must take all--children with disabilities, children with no interest in education, and children whose parents offer little to no support. They take the students who can't keep up the standards at Challenger. Because of the very different student body, they also don't have to pay truancy officers, mental health counselors, and disability specialists.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 20, 2013 7:22 p.m.


    I guess if its that cushy maybe you should give it a try. If I have all these sweetheart deals why isn't everyone becoming a teacher. The state has lowered the standard for teachers significantly and until the recession we have had a tough time filling classrooms.

    I know most people don't like to compare teaching to other jobs that require a college degree, but when we look at benefits, for professional jobs, paid holidays, paid vacation, and benefit packages are part of the package, and should be for teachers too.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Oct. 18, 2013 9:10 a.m.

    Fred 44

    What do you call 3 months off every summer? Why would you need paid holidays if you are making wages that are designed to be a year's worth of salary? What about breaks between sessions, like Christmas break or Spring Break or UEA (that true professional teachers attend while most do something else)? I usually got Christmas day and a few hours off for Christmas eve. I had to be back to work on Dec 26th. Thanksgiving was Thursday only, not both Thursday and Friday. Those who work outside endure winter conditions while you go into a warm building. You have sick leave. And you have a sweetheart deal on health insurance....a real sweetheart deal. Plus you are king in the classroom. That all sounds a bit cushy to me.

    I know, teaching is "stressful," kids are undisciplined, parents don't care, etc. Guess what? Most jobs have these same elements in them.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Oct. 18, 2013 8:59 a.m.

    To "OHBU" lets look at spending for public schools and compare them to private schools.

    I can send my child to Challenger School (for profit school) for about $8000/yr.

    The state of Utah spends over $8000/yr per student (spending per child that we always hear plus the capital costs of $1700).

    Why is it that Challenger Schools can maintain smaler class sizes and have better educational results than public schools, when they cost nearly the same?

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 8:27 p.m.

    What is with criticizing UTA. UTA is funded by sales tax revenue from municipalities that have trax, frontrunner, or bus service. Not a dime from income tax. Not a dime from communities outside the Wasatch front. UTA provides bus service for West High students, and numerous other schools in SL County. I am UTA driver. More people ride the bus than critics will admit. Critics have no idea how much public transit benefits the community. Most UTA customers are minors, disabled, students, low income, or commuters who work downtown SLC or the U of U. I totally support Pat Jones proposal. Exceptions could be made for special needs or adopted children. Cap the deductions at two. Signed single with no tax exemptions.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 17, 2013 8:07 p.m.


    As a teacher I am more than happy to work year round for pay that is in line with professionals who work "year round". Problem is it will cost you a bit more than 25%, because you see unlike other professions, I don't get paid holidays, and I don't get paid vacation. You match my salary and other benefits to other professions with comparable education, I will be more than happy to work year around and I will smile all the way to the bank.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 5:58 p.m.


    I'm all for increasing teacher salaries by 25%. I'm also for increasing teacher work loads to 12 months a year, just like everyone else. Do you know of any job description that pays 100% for 75% work? That's what teachers want. My family health insurance was almost $20,000 a year. I know a school district where it is $100 a month for family coverage. So the whole story isn't "per-pupil-funding."

    Parents are the answer. People in other areas of the country, culturally, haven't figured that out. What a sad day for the children. But more money for schools at the expense of the families that are doing the right things (like being involved in the children's education) is not the answer.

    Utah has good results for the dollars spent. Lets keep it that way. If you want better results, get the parents to fulfill their responsibility (both mom and dad). Utah students are not deprived of getting an education.

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    Oct. 17, 2013 5:09 p.m.


    You can certainly argue that some places have simply thrown too much money at the problem, but that in no way excuses Utah for not financially supporting it enough. Giving you kids everything they want is unhealthy, but not properly providing for them is also detrimental. Of course there are cultural factors, and DC has to overcome tremendous obstacles in their public schools because of the poverty and fact that the parent(s) are often working much of the time leaving their kids unsupervised. The relative cost to private school is inconsequential because private schools can accept only good students, and kick kids out who do poorly--regardless of economic resources. Public school must take everyone.

    For a state that preaches family values on a daily basis, there sure seems to be little concern for educating children. Teacher (aka, those who are dealing with children for much of each day) are paid paltry salaries, meaning that many of the best leave to pursue other interests. Those that are there do a lot with a little, and often those salaries are burdened by them buying supplies that should be provided.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 4:15 p.m.

    More money is not the answer. Look at Washington DC if you think it is.

    Utah spends 100% of personal state income taxes for education, the HIGHEST in the country.

    Students grow up and pay taxes back into the system; why make it harder on them when in school?

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 3:55 p.m.

    To "OHBU" look at the areas that spend more money than Utah. We may be dead last in spending, but acedemically we do better than places like Washington DC that spend 2 to 3 times as much as we do.

    What you should be asking is why is it that some states spend more per child than what it costs for PRIVATE school, yet have worse outcomes?

    The simple fact is that there is a point where throwing more money at education is not the solution. There is a certain cultural factor that money cannot solve.

  • Samson01 S. Jordan, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 2:34 p.m.

    This is just a rehash of the same thing that Pat Jones has been trying to champion for the last twenty years. This is one of the issues that helped West Jordan voters decide that Steve Mascaro had overstayed his welcome as their representative.

    We have a social contract. We as a society have agreed to educate our children and collectively bear the cost for that education in return for the lifelong benefits of having an educated populace. Many posters here are correct instating the various societal benefits that all enjoy from this investment. Is there a better way? (think free-market)

    I would remind people that we have the best run state in the US. We have issues, everyone does. But the proposed solutions often times would compromise efforts made in other areas that, overall, produces the best run state in the US.

    Would I like to see more resources go to Education? Sure. I would also like to see more money go to our infrastructure, our natural resource management, and on hundreds of other things. The pie is only so big and balancing what comes out of that pie is something our state has done very well.

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    Oct. 17, 2013 2:30 p.m.

    Liberal Ted: "How many times have we increased money into the school system only to still have the same problem? Money is not the answer."

    Given the fact that Utah is dead-last in per-pupil spending, I would say that we haven't increased the money into the school system nearly enough. You act as if the schools are already getting an exorbitant amount of money. "Money is not the answer" is a cop-out to not feel guilty about the shoe-string budgets in the schools.

  • Kirk R Graves West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 1:23 p.m.

    I have 5 kids. 4 of them are homeschooled, so I don't really benefit much from the public school system.

    For all that, I would strongly support this move. I think it would be great to bring in more money for our Utah schools. Utah does an amazing job with what little we spend, can you imagine what we could do with a little more!

  • Sasha Pachev Provo, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 1:18 p.m.

    We have 8 children ages 14 years through 9 months. We home school all of them and always have - we did our very best to make sure the government spent $0 on us. We are getting good results - our oldest scored 33 on the ACT, scores B and higher on 4 STEM AP tests, and has applied to BYU. We have lived off just my income which throughout the years has been high enough to be taxed heavily. So you can imagine how I feel about this proposal.

    If somebody wants to tax me more for the sake of educating the children, why don't you give me a tax break and I will show you how I got my 14 year old to perform in the 99% percentile at essentially $0 cost except my time?

  • Jefferson, Thomas Bluffdale, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 1:18 p.m.

    Please would the liberal Pat and Dan Jones leave for retirement right away before they do any more damage to our State. There is NO proof that Utah schools would improve performance by adding more money. We already out perform several states that spend more than we do so what exactly are they trying to do except tax and spend more. Our taxes per capita are already high enough and taxing more those who can least afford it is not going to help those families or their children. What about all those large families that aren't sending a single one of their kids to 'the schools' yet their taxes are just as high and will go higher if the two Jones' has their lifelong wish.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 12:52 p.m.

    Did anybody else notice that they are going to create yet another layer of administators so oversee how the money is spent.

    According to the KSL article "Budget breakdown: How education money is spent in Utah schools" 87% of the money that goes for education is spent on "salaries and benefits for teachers, reading aides, P.E. specialists, principals, district administrators and custodians. " How many more teachers could be supported if that list was just teachers, principals, and custodians? Yes a few district administrators may be needed, but not at the level that we currently have. How about we cut the number of different jobs at a school down to 4. Teacher, Administrator (Principal and secretary), Custodian, and Cook.

    If we had more teachers, would reading aids really be needed? Are teachers so uncreative that they can't figure out some games to play during PE? Why do we have all of the wasted positions?

  • Fred33 KAYSVILLE, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 12:24 p.m.

    You know what's interesting about this legislation is that the lawmakers are not considering all the effects. In my children's elementary the families are asked to make several classroom donations throughout the year for supplies. These donations are voluntary, and I would imagine if a large family's taxes were raised by the amount alluded to in the article, that family might not choose to make those donations. I think that the overall money coming into the schools might stay about the same because the pot of money for the large families is not getting any bigger.

  • RSLfanalways West Valley, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 12:01 p.m.

    One easy way to raise money for schools is by having a STATE LOTTERY. It is a tax on people who like to gamble and they love it. Follow what Wyoming is doing regarding the lottery to help pay for schools. But it probably wont happen.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 11:15 a.m.

    I would propose that we use the public lands that were guaranteed when we became a state and use those resources to fund the education system. I propose that we recruit and maintain quality teachers. I propose that students who are disruptive and unproductive and disturb the education of others, they and their parents can carry the burden of the cost of their education. I propose bringing in volunteer experts from all fields to hold lecture series.

    Could you imagine if you allowed banks the ability to come into a school and educate the kids on how credit cards, checking accounts, savings, investments, loans etc work? Could you imagine if all of our kids could make more informed decisions about their finances?

    I would also cut subsidizing uta with our tax dollars to make the fares cheaper for the handful of people that use it. Let them pay their fair share. Use that money towards the schools.

    I would begin to change the focus in High School, in how to be a fantastic and employable employee with real job skills. I would give them the skills to start a business or use their talents to make money.

  • Wildfan Ogden, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 11:07 a.m.

    One problem in Utah are people with large numbers of children in public schools who don't file tax returns. Maybe in order to enroll in schools parents should have to show proof that they filed taxes, regardless if they paid Utah taxes based on income/exemptions. Not to deny anyone but to ensure everyone is following the same rules.

    It's naive to think that families with children are the only ones who benefit from their education. Everyone benefits from an educated population, elderly, childless couples, single people, large and small families, everyone. That is why education isn't a user fee but broadly funded.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 11:03 a.m.

    The trouble is the Federal government that has been hijacked by the left wing. They feel that until everyone in this country is impoverished and equal with a third world country, that no one here deserves anything they have worked for.

    So the hijacked government continues to borrow over $1 Trillion each year to pay for programs we can't afford, to make promises for votes that can't be sustained, to give contracts to companies that support them, and funnel our money out of this country.

    Don't you see anything wrong when 50-60% of this country is using some form of welfare?

    Don't you think the families with kids are the poor people in this country? They are the working poor. Do you think taking away their tax break to raise children, something this country needs, is the right path?

    I would rather keep the $3000 in property taxes that I'm paying into the school system this year and save that money for my children and have a choice as to where to send my child.

    How many times have we increased money into the school system only to still have the same problem? Money is not the answer.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 10:58 a.m.

    @ CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    "Sounds like good rhetoric, but if a Legislator proposed raising the minimum wage so we could get more folks off welfare, they'd be laughed off Capitol Hill.

    So what is your proposal to create jobs that pay better? All the good-paying jobs were shipped offshore to countries where the "job creators" could pay lower wages and less regulation.

    So what is your side's proposal to create the great jobs?"

    Why do you feel that forcing companies to pay more for labor would decrease unemployment and create better jobs?

    It's very very simple economics. Something the democrats claim to have the only authority on it. Jobs are going overseas because of our labor costs. Not because of ATM machines that barack claims. Wages will not increase until unemployment goes down. Give the companies a reason to invest and stay here. Lower taxes, get rid of the tax advantages we give to foreign countries that steal our business. Give those incentives back to employers here. I would also propose low interest loans to anyone with a proven business model and will start their business here.

  • Ben H Clearfield, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 10:47 a.m.

    I appreciate the efforts to fund schools, but I grew up in a large family. Here is what most people don't understand.

    -We had to drive a bigger and more expensive vehicle. We paid more taxes every year when the car registration came due. The car did not get good mileage, we paid more gas taxes.
    -Our grocery bills were larger. We paid more sales taxes on our food.
    -We purchased more clothing and other stuff. We paid more sales taxes on that other stuff.
    -Our house was bigger. We paid more property taxes than others.

    I look at the per-child deduction as sort of leveling the higher tax bill that large families otherwise pay. However, I know of no firm data on this and think the issue is worth studying further.

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 10:33 a.m.

    So, essentially, a per capita tax.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 16, 2013 8:17 p.m.


    This is not punishing anyone, this is about responsibility. Those who have children in the system should pay the most for their education, not the least.

  • HBZion Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 16, 2013 6:51 p.m.

    People who wish to financially punish those with more children forget that these children will be the individuals that will pay taxes to fund social security and other programs. Europe and Japan would love to have our higher birth rate to fund their social programs.

    Also, this is a politically naïve stand and hurts the democrats. Jones may be good with surveys, but apparently not much else.

  • Orem Parent Orem, UT
    Oct. 16, 2013 6:02 p.m.

    There are plenty of ways we could fund education, this being one of them. We could also stop funneling so much money into legislative pet projects. Stop dumping so much into UTA which few people take except for trax. I did notice the legislators are sitting in nice new comfy offices while my child sits in a classroom that would probably fall down in even the slightest earthquake. How about impact fees when a new house is built so the new residents have to fund the building of the schools for their kids instead of putting that burden on all of us? Oh yeah the realtors control the legislature in Utah. Sorry I forgot that.

    I don't think this proposal is bad and would vote for it if I had the chance. I'm just saying there are plenty of ways to boost education funding if that is our goal.

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    Oct. 16, 2013 4:49 p.m.

    "Which means the democrats will shuffle money to illegals and any other person willing to vote for them and continue the "steal from the rich to feed the poor" mentality"

    I'm sorry, how is making people who put the most burden on the education system pay more into that system a steal from the rich, give to the poor mentality? You have to go on some circuitous route through illegal immigration to get somewhere near there. The truth is, in Utah people have an exorbitant amount of children, demand they get relieved from their tax duty for doing so, complain that the schools aren't doing enough, then get on their soapbox and preach about personal responsibility. I am fine with exemptions for children, but it should not be limitless. Instead of an either/or thing, how about we cap the exemption at the first three kids. If you want to have more, feel free, but take financial responsibility for them, and only have them if you can support them.

  • NedGrimley Brigham City, UT
    Oct. 16, 2013 3:44 p.m.

    But Ted, if we just raise the debt limit...? ;)

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    Oct. 16, 2013 3:30 p.m.

    @Liberal Ted

    "How about we try reducing the number of people on welfare and create jobs that pay better, so people will pay more in taxes and be able to take care of themselves? That's a double whammy right there. You lessen the welfare load and increase the tax base."

    But Utah being a right-to-work state and anti-minimum wage, how do you propose to do that? Sounds like good rhetoric, but if a Legislator proposed raising the minimum wage so we could get more folks off welfare, they'd be laughed off Capitol Hill.

    So what is your proposal to create jobs that pay better? All the good-paying jobs were shipped offshore to countries where the "job creators" could pay lower wages and less regulation.

    So what is your side's proposal to create the great jobs?

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 16, 2013 3:00 p.m.

    So the democrat would like to take money away from those who have children. To redistribute their money back to them in a "more fair" and "equitable" way.

    Which means the democrats will shuffle money to illegals and any other person willing to vote for them and continue the "steal from the rich to feed the poor" mentality, when the money is just stolen from middle class and low income families to make democrats and republicans richer.

    How about we try reducing the number of people on welfare and create jobs that pay better, so people will pay more in taxes and be able to take care of themselves? That's a double whammy right there. You lessen the welfare load and increase the tax base.

    Of course any silly democrat couldn't think that way. Instead they push for higher taxes, borrow more, spend more with the thought that debt is wealth....that's progressive thought for you. Which is not progressive at all and is closer to digressive more than anything.

  • dansimp Layton, UT
    Oct. 16, 2013 2:48 p.m.

    Increasing the funding for schools is a laudable goal. And, there is nothing inherently wrong in this tax. I personally believe almost every tax is morally neutral, just based on opinion about what will and won't be better for funding, economic growth, etc.. That having been said, this tax seems like it would do nothing but take money right out of the economy. Young families with several school age children whose taxes go up by 1000$ or more, would just spend 1000$ less at the store, buying that new item, going out to that restaurant, planning that new vacation down to Zion, buying that cookie dough for the school fundraiser. This money will fund the schools, but it will come at the expense of the community they live in. I think as long as people think that through, feel free to vote what you think is best. The problem is there will be a segment of society, that without thinking or caring about the consequences, will say "Yes, finally make those people pay for their own kids."