Are Utahns ready to pay more to educate their children?

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  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Jan. 28, 2014 9:54 p.m.

    @Orem Parent--define adequate funding. How much money does education need?

    Perhaps, adequate management of funds, would be a more accurate term.

  • CylonesRus sunamn, IN
    Jan. 28, 2014 3:15 p.m.

    .To fund Utah state runs school a waste-Utah schools are not up to the standards many school to the east of the rocky mountains. My daughter was struggling in Indiana taking advance math spending hour or more 6 days a week, went to Weber High did little to get straight As in calculus which she may have received if she put in 1-2 hours aweek as her brother did who was better in math than she. When i lived in Utah 30 years ago a fellow employee from Missouri told me the same thing I did not believe it until I say it in my own kids in the high school level. Beside Utah spends as much as Indiana does, and Utah does not have the ghetto/hood problems which more than compensate the child to adult ratio

    State run schools in Utah? no fund vouchers

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    Jan. 28, 2014 7:42 a.m.

    To "teachermom6" and how do you propose we change the attitudes that parents have?

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Jan. 27, 2014 9:47 p.m.

    It cost over twenty thousand dollars per student in New York, and New Jersey, for a school year. We spend more money on education than all countries combined.

    If money meant better education,--why do we have so many living in poverty, and are unemployed? Why so many on food stamps?

  • Mom of Six Northern Utah, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 4:57 p.m.

    In the past 5 years, I have seen bills in the legislature aimed at teacher accountability. We get very little pay for what we do compared to other degreed professions, and everyone in Utah thinks this is ok.
    I could take large class sizes, long hours and lack of respect from others IF....
    -Students came prepared to learn, and were not distracting others everyday.
    -Students completed assignments on time and with a good attitude about learning.
    -Students were expected to attain a certain level in every grade, and were not allowed to move up grades without attaining that certain level.
    Students could be suspended for lack of preparedness and poor behavior. Those wanting to return to school to pay a fine....add those fines up, this could make some revenue.
    -Parents were not either absent or helicoptering every move that teachers make, complaining about teachers being mean or unfair when their child did not get to participate in fun activities that they didn't earn.
    With the bar being raised to asinine levels for teachers, isn't it about time for students and parents to hold some of the accountability as well?

  • teachermom6 Northern Utah, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 4:37 p.m.

    In my experience as a teacher, home-schooled or charter schooled students to not always equate to better educated. You have to be very disciplined as a parent to properly homeschool a child. I have known several families who "home-school" children who can't read and write as well as their public schooled peers. I have also known brilliant students who were home-schooled, it depends upon the parent who is doing the teaching.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Jan. 27, 2014 4:36 p.m.

    Let parents pay for a small tuition fee.

    Just that simple.

  • teachermom6 Northern Utah, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 4:29 p.m.

    As a mother of 6 and a full time teacher, I can tell you where the problem lies. Public education is not going to get better. You can throw money at this problem and it will never improve. The problems with education have nothing to do with the classroom, in fact, teachers are better educated today than they were 10 years ago. We know what to look for, we know how to help students etc. What we will never be able to do is solve the underlying family issues that plague our society. Parents and administration are always screaming about accountability. Many teachers, myself included, work with students day in and day out to provide the highest quality education, because we love kids. What I can't fix are kids who decide that class is playtime. that homework is not fun, so not worth it, and that the most important aspects of life involve sitting in front of a screen to be entertained. Until we do something serious about parents being accountable for the actions of their children, and that education is important enough to spend the necessary time to make it happen, it will not improve. Money can't fix this!

  • footballisgood Holladay, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 2:40 p.m.

    To answer a couple pf the questions:

    1. Of course home schooled children are better educated, they get one on one interaction and feedback from their teacher. Thanks for proving the point about class sizes!
    2. Football makes money for most large high schools. Many academic programs are funded by the revenue brought in by football and basketball.

  • squirt Taylorsville, ut
    Jan. 27, 2014 12:47 p.m.

    Terra Nova there is NOT a single study which shows that vouchers and choice improve student outcomes. If you know of one, then please cite it.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 27, 2014 11:57 a.m.


    I have an even better idea, we really don't care about the education of our children because it might cost us a few pennies, so lets do away with public education completely! Let parents take responsibility for their children if they have the money and are willing to pay for a decent education they can find a private school, if not lets bring back some of those jobs we have outsourced to third world countries and put our children to work in American run sweat shops. That way American business can squeeze even a little more profit out by not having to pay shipping costs to bring their goods back to America.

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    Jan. 27, 2014 11:37 a.m.

    I have a better solution that does not require raising taxes.

    How about we cut every position within a district with the word "specialist" in its title. Cutting the district staff in half will make more money available to the schools.

    In the schools keep the prinicpal vice principal, lunch ladies, and janitors. If a person does not fit into those categories, give them a teaching position. If they do not have a classroom of their own, get rid of them or give them a class.

    See how simple it is, and taxes don't have to be raised.

  • Anti Government Alpine, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 10:12 a.m.

    I would be willing to pay more....if I had even a scintilla of faith it would actually make a difference.

    I hear from my kids what they get "points" and "extra credit" for not to mention all the half days, early outs, and days off. It is a joke. These teachers adjust the expectation down to the lowest common denominator to make sure the kids pass. And I am in one of the supposed best school districts.

    It is silly to think that throwing more money down a rat hole is going to change the low expectation that exists today for what students actually learn.

    I pay the teacher more money and suddenly they are a better teacher? Don't think so.

    If the money was going to be spent on an "accountability" and "outcomes" division then I might consider an increase.

    The problem is that even when you report the ridiculous expectations of these teachers nothing is done about it because the union makes it too onerous to get rid of lazy teachers so we have too many coasting and not getting results.

  • WRK Riverton, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 9:57 a.m.

    I hear many arguments for both sides, but may I offer this: I, as a taxpayer, am being bled dry. I have no more to give. I need to feed my family. I am so sorry that we cannot educate our children, but how about letting me feed my children without having to be on welfare?

    Also, why can foreign countries (Japan) have such large classes, much larger than ours, and still have competitive students in the world market? Could it be the entitlement mentality? I don’t have the answer to that, but...

  • Denverite Centennial, CO
    Jan. 27, 2014 9:53 a.m.

    If I were living in Utah, I would want to see line-item school district budgets before voting in any tax increases.

    Schools where I live, and schools in all other places too, always have several spending categories that are dictionary definitions of the phrase "fraud, waste and abuse."

    As one example here, a city near me discovered in the last year or two that if they stopped their fake "green" practice of using whatever containers they were using for milk and put milk back in the standard cardboard containers I used as a kid, they'd save a quarter-million a yesr--which is 4 or 5 teachers a year, every single year.

    Start by fixing a few of those in every district, and you suddenly have oodles of money. One example would be football --unless it's a break-even proposition where you live instead of a giant money sink.

  • lixircat Indianapolis, IN
    Jan. 27, 2014 9:50 a.m.

    As a BYU fan, I can't believe I'm going to agree with Chris B.
    Spending does not equal quality education.
    I'm from Utah and have since lived in PA, NY, an now IN. The kids in Utah schools are just as educated (if not more) as the kids in all these other states, despite spending the least per pupil on education. The real difference comes from the time and effort parents put into their own kids education and not leaving it up entirely to the schools.

    Too much money into the system breeds corruption. I dare you to take a good look at NY schools.

  • TallGuy1970 Syracuse, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 9:47 a.m.

    Polls like this don't matter at all because lawmakers don't care about you or me. With our current system, the caucus delegates are the only people who matter to our legislators. In Utah, the real election comes during the Republican primary, and only caucus delegates get to vote. Once you've made it through the republican primary, you are basically a shoe-in for office. There are some pockets of Utah that democrats actually get a chance, but in 98% of the state, once you win the republican primary, you are in like Flynn.

    This is EXACTLY why we need a direct primary! Sign the Count My Vote petition!

  • mcdugall Murray, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 9:46 a.m.

    @Health Teacher - your property taxes pay for services we ALL use in order to live a comfortable life within our private residence. Roads, utilities, fire/police services, and so many other services and infrastructure all of us rely on are paid through property taxes because without these services the quality of our private residence ecosystem would be diminished.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Jan. 27, 2014 9:22 a.m.

    Why can't we have parents pay a small tuition fee? Have it go directly to the school before government gets its hands on it.

    When people have children, they should bare some responsibility for raising them. Feeding and educating should be a part of it.

  • slcman SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 8:45 a.m.

    No, not no, Ice Cream Sandwich! "You get what you pay for" works in every other walk of life, but not education. In education it's called "throwing money at it".

  • MapleDon Springville, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 8:24 a.m.

    Are you (DesNews) ever going to prove a correlation between more money and better students? In the 30 years I've lived in Utah, this pumping for money has gone on every year. Prove the correlation, then we'll talk.

  • hardware Erda, Ut
    Jan. 27, 2014 8:08 a.m.

    People homeschool and give their kids a better education. I don't think money is the answer. Unions require too much of our tax dollars for pensions, benefits etc.... I also don't think if your kids are out of school, you should have to pay taxes for education. Vouchers for those with kids and leave us that raised ours, put them through college....alone. So tired of politics being the answer. Parents step up and take control of your children's education.

  • EJM Herriman, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 7:58 a.m.

    "Low performing schools reform their practices?" I have yet to see a school staff refuse to review their teaching practices in the hopes of doing a better job with their students. With that said let's take a look at a few practices that work, if you have the will to follow thru.

    Insist upon following thru with school district attendance policies. Students who don't attend get dropped. They can come back the following semester. Students who misbehave consistently get dropped. They are interfering in the learning of others. They can also come back the next semester.

    Insist upon professional attire from your educators. If you want to be taken seriously as a teacher don't dress like your students.

    Finally, don't just teach the material. Teach young people. Give respect, regardless of their age. Expect respect. Turn learning into a joyful event worthy of their relevance. Smile. And students, we understand your issues. Just remember schools are for learning,not for being babysat.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 7:48 a.m.


  • abenq slc, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 7:12 a.m.

    For the most part people from Utah are not willing to pay more. Most of them believe the state should educate their 'huge' families for free.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 6:27 a.m.

    Instead of either of these proposed tax increases, why not accept Energy Solutions offer of 1/2 Billion dollars so they can accept the same kind of waste they are accepting now, only it would come from a foreign source, then invest this money and use the earnings towards education?

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 2:08 a.m.

    Vouchers and parental choice will do more to help our schools than anything else.

  • Ice Cream Sandwich provo, UT
    Jan. 26, 2014 11:53 p.m.

    The unfortunate problem in public education is that you don't get what you pay for. And you won't know it (don't ask me why you never see it) until it's too late and the taxes are fixed.

  • Reader81 SLC, UT
    Jan. 26, 2014 11:05 p.m.

    Why not invest in our teachers? Teachers are burning out and leaving the profession for multiple reasons. @toosmartforyou - did you know that most teachers do work over the summer in one form or another. Most use their own (unpaid and voluntary) time during the summer to prepare for the upcoming school year. Many take professional development courses, often paying for them out of their own pockets. Others take summer jobs to supplement their income.

  • Carolyn Sharette Sandy, UT
    Jan. 26, 2014 10:42 p.m.

    Where is the data that would indicate more money would increase student academic achievement, which is the primary purpose of our public schools? In fact, if you study the amounts spent on education state to state, there really is no correlation between what is spent and the academic outcomes.

    Having run public charter schools for 12 years, now serving 3500 students at 5 campuses, I am quite sure that money is not the variable that is missing in Utah schools.

    You find some schools highly successful on the same dollar that other schools are failing with. Some schools are successfully teaching low income and english language learner students, others are failing miserably. They all are paid roughly the same amount to educate students.

    Until we are willing to take a hard look at the successes and the failures and demand that the low-performing schools reform their practices, I would not rush to infuse schools with more money. Money is not the problem.

    We must find the will to do what's best for kids. We must acknowledge where the expertise lies, and then we must demand success from all schools. Money may only serve to distract us from this vital process.

  • Jeff29 Draper, UT
    Jan. 26, 2014 10:36 p.m.

    There are an estimated 131 Billion barrels of shale oil in the Uinta Basin (77 Billion recoverable with current technology). Last year, 500,000 barrels per day were produced in Alaska and the State raked in $6.3 Billion. All things being equal the currently recoverable oil would yield $2.6 Trillion in revenue for Utah. I know there would be variations, but just sayin'....

    By the way, 77 Billion barrels is almost twice the amount of recoverable onshore crude oil in the US. (There is no shortage of resources, just a shortage of ingenuity and political fortitude.)

  • open minded Lehi, UT
    Jan. 26, 2014 9:58 p.m.

    Why is no one pointing out the obvious Conservative Capitalist approach of Jones's bill? She is saying pay for what you use. Stop using government subsides to raise your kids. If you have kids you should pay a larger part for their education. This is a great Conservative Capitalist idea, coming from a Democrat of all people, pay for what you use. No Freebies in life, including your child's education. If you want to have lots of kids then pay for them and stop living beyond your means by relying on a tax of the old and single people of Utah. I am a parent of 3 and feel I don't pay enough for their education.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Jan. 26, 2014 9:52 p.m.

    People keep saying the schools need more money but the way the schools currently waste money indicates that the schools have plenty of money. Or else they are poor stewards of the money they presently get. Studies show that student participation in extra curricular activities (sports, clubs, debate, drama, music, student government, student publications, etc.) is a better predictor of long term success when compared to students who don't participate. But, of all the extracurricular activities, inter school athletics is the most expensive but gives the least benefit in terms of long term success. I'd feel more supportive of more money for the schools if the schools didn't already waste thousands and thousands of dollars on frivolous inter school athletics.

  • Health Teacher OREM, UT
    Jan. 26, 2014 9:32 p.m.

    Please stop and think about what is being proposed. Any new tax or an increase in a current tax is a greater burden on the parents in most cases, whose primary role is to educate and raise their children. It is not the State's place to make it more difficult for parents to parent, and in many cases cause them to have greater financial hardship. I own a home and absolutely hate the fact that property taxes exist. Private property essentially does not exist anymore and the government is really leasing us what we think is ours. If you fail to pay your taxes you risk losing your home. Private property is a basic right for all Americans. I find this asinine that the citizens of this State continue to fund our schools through property taxes. If you have children in school, step up and pay for it. The more kids, the more you pay! It is called personal responsibility. Lets step up and find better solutions for funding public schools and let everyone who partakes in the system pay their share. I work in public schools and believe higher tax burden is not the answer.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Jan. 26, 2014 9:15 p.m.

    Orem Parent, if you are so willing to spend more for education just go ahead and sent it to your local school district. I'm sure they will be thrilled to have the extra revenue. The problem with that is it isn't something they can count on every year, like taxes. The Davis District had a "one time" funding source and they spent the money on something that was "on going" so they had to raise property taxes to cover it every year after the initial year. "One time funding" didn't compute for those using the funds. And there's no way to make those doing such things accountable. They even apologized for telling new teacher hires that they would need to pay $100 a month for full coverage family health insurance. That's for 9 months of work, too. My insurance premiums that year were over $19,500. And they carped about their "low benefits."

  • Sasha Pachev Provo, UT
    Jan. 26, 2014 9:15 p.m.

    Try this. Pay the families for the performance of their students. You will see wonders. What is the ACT score of one student 30 worth to the state? If you paid even half of that to the family one of the parents would be able to take time off work and home school or use the money to hire a competent tutor to make it happen. The public education system seems to be stuck around the score of 21, if you throw exorbitant amounts of money at it it might give you 23, but it will not give you 30. At home with parents on the ball 30 is easily achievable.

  • jp3 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 26, 2014 9:08 p.m.

    As a 7th grade English teacher at a public school, my classroom is literally overflowing with students--no joke, I have students sitting on the floor because there is no more room to fit desks in my room, so they sit on the patch of ground by my desk or near the door. Having taught classes with 25 and now teaching classes of 40+, there's no doubt that I can be a hugely more effective teacher with lower numbers. This is the number one problem in Utah right now--not enough money to properly and effectively educate--it's more crowd control now than anything. When will we get serious about teaching out kids? If that day ever arrives, we could do some amazing things here in Utah, I'm certain of it. Now? We struggle along and do the best we can while the limited resources we have are being sunk into new standardized testing and new software that rarely works.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Jan. 26, 2014 9:07 p.m.

    Utahns already spend 100% of their personal income tax to fund education. How can you spend more than 100% and why don't we ever hear that statistic...all we hear about is the per-pupil funding. Look at Washington DC if you think just throwing money at it is the answer. Plus the revenues from ABC go to education, too. From where is this additional money going to come?

    No, not everyone has always been willing to pay more for education. Davis County raised property taxes twice in double digits, even though many protested at the public hearing, which was really a dog-and-pony show by educators, held only to technically comply with the law.

    The answers lie in education reform (fought against by the education lobby themselves---and who really ought to champion the cause), increased parental involvement, and year-round schools with teachers getting a 25 - 33% pay raise but working all year, just like EVERYBODY ELSE. Those who hold the key to the solution fight it. But that's been true for 50+ years. So let's hear yet again.....which State has the lowest per-pupil funding.....?

  • Orem Parent Orem, UT
    Jan. 26, 2014 8:54 p.m.

    Chris B you are looking at it all wrong. Just think of where our state could be if we would adequately fund our schools. I'm not saying go crazy like an Obama spending spree but better than we are doing now. Instead of being satisfied with a middle of the pack rating on the worst spending in the USA, we could be the top in the country with middle of the pack spending.

    Money for sure makes a huge difference. We could be doing so much more and achieving so much more. I hope I get to see it during my lifetime.

    Jan. 26, 2014 8:27 p.m.

    I would much rather spend tax money to fund education, than spend $900 million to build a new prison. Maybe if we invest in education now, there won't be a need for more prisons later.

  • jotab Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 26, 2014 8:11 p.m.

    If Osmond's bill passes then the they will just not fund the regular WPU because of the "new" money going directly to the schools. The problem is that now the district will face increased costs for employee health benefits, transportation costs, utility costs and other maintenance costs without any increased funds to cover it.

  • Orem Parent Orem, UT
    Jan. 26, 2014 7:49 p.m.

    We always have been ready to pay more to fund our schools. The problem is that the politicians that have to make it happen are more worried about getting re-elected than they are about our schools. I will gladly pay a bit more in tax to lower the class sizes and pay our teachers what they are worth.

    An even better idea is to charge an impact fee on all new homes being built. Of course to do that would require us to get rid of all the realtors that serve in the state legislature to go along with it. That will never happen because it will affect their own bottom line but it is an obvious thing to do.

    It is pathetic that a state that says it cares so much about their children can be last in per pupil funding.

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    Jan. 26, 2014 7:29 p.m.

    We need vouchers and Singapore math.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 26, 2014 7:01 p.m.

    If it was as easy as taking more money from taxpayers, Utah would be at the bottom of every academic measurement such as graduation and ACT scores. The truth is that even with the lowest spending PER student, Utah is still in the middle of the country in nearly every academic rating system.

    Now, before everyone says I am saying something I didn't, let me add:

    Did I say being in the middle of the country is perfectly fine?

    Just don't tell me that spending it the key driver of success. If it were, this state would be the worst academic state in the country and barack would have established the most successful economy in the history of our country.

  • freedomingood provo, Utah
    Jan. 26, 2014 6:32 p.m.

    In Utah, where there are so many conservatives that oppose increases in spending and people trained in teaching that are not working as teachers is seems like a better idea to push a public call for volunteerism in the schools. Wouldn't that be better?

  • footballisgood Holladay, UT
    Jan. 26, 2014 6:11 p.m.

    Many states use the lottery as a way to fund education. Maybe it is time for Utah to be a bit progressive for the sake of our students. Lottery is a choice, no one would be forced to spend anything, but I would rather see the money that so many Utahns go spend in Malad on Powerball come back to our students instead of going to Idaho.