Gov. Gary Herbert unveils $13.3 billion budget

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  • Doctor C Orem, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 9:45 a.m.

    We currently spend close to $9,000 per student on education. That is a huge amount, especially given the fact that our public schools are not as good as they were in the past and the fact that many private schools are better and charge less than $9,000 a year. We should privatize education. 20 kids in a class= $180,000 budget, pay the teacher $50,000+ and you still have $130,000 a year to cover computers, ipads, utilities, rent and upkeep. The public school system is very inefficient and underpays teachers. The amount of waste is astonishing when you look at it this way. You cannot tell me that a private company could not do a better job getting $180,000 for 20 students! With the technology we have we do not need these monstrous, expensive buildings and we certainly don't need to keep kids locked up 8 hours a day at school. We need innovation in education and using online courses offered by the best educators in the country with reduced class time and more hands on learning and internships would certainly improve things.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 12:15 a.m.

    I agree with all the anti-education rhetoric...

    Stack'um deep and teach'um cheap!

    Liberals need to learn... especially those irritating tree-hugging ones...that any money spent educating children is money that should be spent on something more important...

    Like tax breaks (aka; corporate well fare/bribes) for oil and gas companies...

  • ManInTheMiddle SANDY, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 11:45 p.m.

    I have consistently said on this board that the government should double my RIDICULOUSLY LOW property taxes. I send my kids to private schools (it's the only chance they have in this state) and I'm still happy to pay double the property taxes to educate other's kids.

    Who are my kids going to hire in 10 years? I'll bet you $100 bucks they won't be hiring kids educated in UT.

  • DN Subscriber 2 SLC, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 10:56 p.m.

    Utah teachers do a great job with limited resources.

    But, throwing more money at the bloated education bureaucracy will NOT improve education outcomes. Nor will confiscating more money from taxpaying families make Utah a better place.

    We have limited funds, from a fair level of taxation (which should NOT be increased!) and need to live within what that brings in.

    Good job, Governor Herbert on a responsible, prudent, and well thought out budget. Fiscal responsibility is rare in elected officials, and he got it just right!

    We do spend a lot to lock up criminals- but that issue is taboo.

  • Vanceone Provo, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 10:29 p.m.

    I have a suggestion: All of you clamoring for more money to go to education, please donate to the state an additional 40 percent of your income. Put your money where your mouth is.

    I mean, seriously--where, exactly, do you think all of this money that you claim needs to go to education is going to come from? Utah doesn't have a free money tree.

    The amount of money Utah spends and taxes its citizens for the purpose of education is obscene. Don't forget, the state is not the biggest funder of education--it is local property taxes.

    If you want more money to go to education, then you liberals should be clamoring for the oil and gas industry in Utah to be opened up to the fullest, so the state can collect on all the oil and gas royalties. Direct choice there, bucks: which will win? Your treehugger instincts or your "think of the children!" ones?

  • ManInTheMiddle SANDY, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 9:10 p.m.

    What a disgraceful budget. Shame on you Gary. Our education system is starved. It needs more dollars period. At least twice as many dollars. And we fall farther and farther behind and no one seems to care. Our kids aren't competitive. What a joke.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 8:35 p.m.

    Why is he spending less than what the govt brings in?

  • JosephSmith4ever Spanisfork, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 8:19 p.m.

    Enough with the early outs and half days, kids need to go to school and learn, and teachers need to teach, no more videos and pointless coloring assignments in math class. We should run our schools like a call center by identifying skills and techniques that make the difference between good teachers and bad teachers, place cameras in every class room and at random record the teachers and grade them based on how they implement and use such skills and techniques.

  • Stephen Van Orden Mapleton, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 7:20 p.m.

    We also need to attract the best and brightest into the teaching profession. We will not be able to do that with our current salaries. Whenever someone who is among the best and brightest joins the teaching profession, they do it as an act of service and altruism--not because they will be paid what they are worth. Many potentially fantastic teachers end up choosing to not become teachers because it will be very difficult to support a family on the beginning teacher salary.

    Of course, we will never be able to pay great teachers what they are worth. We can, however, invest in teacher salaries and allow future teachers who will be fantastic to join the profession with the knowledge that they can make a decent living. Right now, our teacher salaries scare off many fantastic potential teachers.

    Study after study suggests that students learn significantly more from outstanding teachers. If we want more outstanding teachers, we need to pay for it. We need to invest more in programs like the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 4, 2013 7:14 p.m.

    Anti Government,

    It is always funny that when someone suggests that education get a couple of extra dollars we pull out the argument that Washington DC spends the 2nd most on education and has the worst test scores and we simply ignore the demographics that contribute to those scores, yet we use demographics in Utah for the reason we have the lowest funding for education in the country.

    It is easy to cherry pick statistics and take them out of context to prove a point when we don't want to admit that our effort to fund education in this state is pitiful. An honest examination of the facts would tell us that money doesn't guarantee success, but when we look at states that are similar to Utah demographically that spend more money, also have students who score significantly higher on standardized tests.

    Money doesn't guarantee success, but continuing to starve the system will guarantee failure.

  • RWSmith6 Providence, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 7:08 p.m.

    I keep seeing comments that indicate that people don't realize that being last in per-pupil funding in the nation (and among developed nations as well) is something to worry about. Recruiting and retaining the very best, brightest, and classroom-worthy teachers is the aim in countries that have passed us by in international assessments, and it ought to be the aim here. Inspiring teachers make a big difference, just as those who are discouraged, underrewarded, overburdened and, to boot, micromanaged by legislators do.

    We've never in Utah tried to match our enthusiasm for family and children with like enthusiasm for top-of-the-line public education for those children. When we do, watch out world.

  • Stephen Van Orden Mapleton, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 7:07 p.m.

    We absolutely need to invest more in education. Our class sizes are through the roof. We need more technology, updated textbooks, and other basics to be able to provide a rigorous education to all of our Utah students including our growing population of economicaly disadvantaged students. We still have not gotten back to pre-economic downturn spending levels. The cuts that were made in education during the downturn were not fat. They were lean muscle.

    We can improve education outcomes in Utah. We do need a strong investment to do it. If education were our true highest priority (and it needs to be), we could and would find a way to invest more in education. Education is by far our most important investment in the future.

  • Stephen Van Orden Mapleton, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 7:00 p.m.

    @Anti Government

    Do you realize how far behind the average per pupil spending we are? Comparing what Utah does to what Washington DC does really is a red herring argument.

    Of course there is no one-to-one correlation with spending money and graduation rates. In the real world where problems are complex and nuanced, there is no such thing as a one-to-one correlation--just ask a statistician.

    It is disingenuous to suggest that Utah does not need to spend more on education. Save that argument for when our spending levels are near the middle of the pack.

  • Luke Nelson West Valley City, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 4:03 p.m.

    @Anti Government

    I remember those holidays and half-days were well looked forward to when I was in elementary school. They were much needed breaks.

  • FredEx Salt Lake, Ut
    Dec. 4, 2013 3:16 p.m.

    It's ironic that there is often a great deal of criticism of education in Utah, but no one makes a peep about the obscenely high cost of corrections. The sad truth is that we law-abiding taxpayers get to bear the full cost of keeping criminals fed and clothed, and we get exactly nothing in return. It would be so great if there were varying degrees of living comfort for criminals based on how much they are able to contribute to their own upkeep. Work an 8 hour day producing something the state needs, you get one cell mate. Work 4 hours, you get three cell mates. Don't work, you get 24 cell mates and one toilet. Let's at least get something out of our wasted corrections dollars.

    Also, there never seems to be any consideration given to the fact that more educational resources results in the need for fewer correctional resources.

  • Anti Government Alpine, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 2:38 p.m.

    The demographics of our State no doubt present a unique challenge with respect to education. Obviously if you spend alot of money per pupil then you would naturally have the best high school graduation rates right?

    Not even close.

    The District of Columbia spends the 2nd highest/pupil in the USA and despite that they have THE lowest highschool graduation rates.

    As much as people love to make the correlation it just simply not factual data.

    I mean seriously, just because I pay more in a teacher benefits doesn't make them a better educator/teacher. It just means they have better benefits. Double all of their salaries tomorrow and the educational results don't change because you still have the same people teaching the same way.

    Better educators held accountable for results (like other jobs in the real world) get better results.

    I'm all for fair pay but every time I turn around my kids have "half-day" or "early-out" or days of partying before an actual Holiday and all the different breaks i.e. UEA. All I can think of is when are they in school actually learning something?

    The results are no mystery to me.

  • The Hammer lehi, utah
    Dec. 4, 2013 2:29 p.m.

    Although Education could use more, I think the governor is doing what he does best and that is managing with the resources he is given. Great Job Gary, glad we have someone that can manage in a low resource environment.

  • Malihini Northern, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 12:20 p.m.

    I am typically not a big fan of the state of Utah but I must hand it to them for being well run and fiscally responsible. They ended the year with a surplus (although I do think that any surplus should be returned to the citizens of that state in the form of lower taxes) and this year they designated new money to education. As poor as this state is in education performance and their education spending record I must congratulate them on the prioritization of their spending.