No money for House Speaker Becky Lockhart's education technology plan in budget

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  • Spangs Salt Lake City, UT
    March 11, 2014 1:31 p.m.

    This bill should have been called the "Justification of gratuitous technology purchases, by loosely tying it to education modernization act."

    I am so relieved that the Senate understood that this pet project of the Speaker was entirely made of pork, and had nothing to do with educating our children. Can you imagine how many teachers $750 million could have purchased? Speaker Lockhart would have been a hero for conservative and liberal alike. Funding even $27 million in teacher hires would have been a huge win. We also know that there is solid data behind the idea that more teachers makes a huge difference. So why pick a tablet over a teacher? Is it because hiring a teacher is somehow thought of as increasing the number of government employees? I don't know. This whole thing makes so little sense to me its kind of like trusing a school teacher to care for a patient in the hospital... or vice versa?

  • Homer1 MIDVALE, UT
    March 11, 2014 11:48 a.m.

    Sometimes I doubt we have the deliberative muscle in our legislature to actually consider policy, needs, rational laws, and practical issues of governance. Viewing expensive technology as the magic bullet for education is a questionable assumption to begin with. But the scale of Lockhart's $300 million proposal politically distorted the funding and policy-making processes in public education, excluded most stake holders and pointedly ignored various pressing needs that should also be addressed. Now that her technology initiative has been mercifully put to rest let's get to work addressing reduced or stagnant salaries of recent years, declining music and art programs, support services and staff for special needs students, issues with class size, and long-delayed physical facilities maintenance? Let's focus on what public education really can be for us in Utah, and not the distractions of the latest shiny techno objects and self-serving corporate lobbying.

  • Danny Chipman Lehi, UT
    March 11, 2014 9:16 a.m.

    I had to check Ms. Lockhart's profile, because I was sure for a moment there was a "D" after her name!

  • NedGrimley Brigham City, UT
    March 11, 2014 7:03 a.m.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for letting this sinking ship slip away...

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    March 11, 2014 4:46 a.m.

    Smaller class will never happen, its inefficient use of space and it brings in millions of dollars less in federal dollars per school. Lockhart's bill is another extreme overhead cost that will reduce quality of education.

    Every time a school has reasonable sized teacher friendly classes they shut the schools down. Its a per pupil cost calculation, the more students in a school the cheaper it is in cost per pupil overhead.

    Utah is stuck on this per pupil spending and funding concept and it is destroying the quality of education. Its all per pupil and its the worst concept that educaiton has adopted as a standard. Per pupil requires minimal supplies and underpaid teachers are the most cost effective for a corporate education systems to justify CEO's pay.

    The board of education looks at education as a commodity they can sell to profit from by allocating more of the taxes for investments as if they owned the money. Instead of a free education system, they have to create a profit from what they are allocated. Utah has billions of education tax funds gambling in stock market that should be going to students and quality education.

  • Utefan60 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 10, 2014 11:14 p.m.

    She wanted to raise property taxes to fund this fiasco by up to 300 million, yet she is against taking money allocated to expanding Medicaid that would benefit thousands without a tax increase? Go figure. What is wrong with this scene? Governor Herbert needs to show leadership and accept the money. If not it will go to other states. Be a leader instead of pandering to the Tea Party rhetoric. People in this State are overwhelmingly in support of helping our fellow poorer working class citizens.

  • birder Salt Lake City, UT
    March 10, 2014 8:02 p.m.

    Hallelujah! (with all due respect to Handel. . .) I'm very glad this crazy idea got struck down. And I'm a teacher. The idea of providing all students with tablets and keeping them up and running is insane. To say nothing of the point that technology "just to be the coolest kids on the block" is useless if it doesn't serve a real educational need. It would be far better to increase the number of computer lab aide positions so that we would have an extra body in there to troubleshoot and keep the kids working on more useful projects that can be done on a regular computer. A real computer is much more useful to students for research, keyboarding practice, and production of content-based projects. It is very hard for one teacher to keep everything going with a whole roomful of elementary school kids on computers.

  • Utah Teacher Orem, UT
    March 10, 2014 5:48 p.m.

    I have a set cart of 16 laptops in my classroom. The students use them when needed. These laptops are now 7 years old. I keep them clean and manage the student accounts on them. I keep the software updated and running smoothly. I know there is no money to replace them so I make sure they are treated well. If the school had about 5 of these carts, that would be enough for our needs. Maybe even one per department would be nice.

    I can't even begin to imagine what a mess it would have been to give every student an iPad. Constant breakage, loss, etc. would have been a nightmare to manage.

    We do need more money for technology in the schools but someone up there on the hill should really take a good poll of actual teachers to see what is needed and wanted. I'm glad Mrs. Lockhart had her heart in the right place. Now if we can just get a reasonable proposal, the students will benefit.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    March 10, 2014 5:14 p.m.

    I've had my ipad for about 18 months. It's gradually slowing and cutting out. These things don't last for long, Ms. Lockhart.

  • Tennor Orem, UT
    March 10, 2014 4:27 p.m.

    Get more teachers and smaller classrooms. You'll get better education.

  • jean22 Bountiful, UT
    March 10, 2014 4:13 p.m.

    I am glad our legislators didn't let this one through. Anyone who has bought new technological equipment knows how quickly it becomes obsolete. There are much better places to put education dollars than into something that will be worthless in a few years. How about using that money to hire more qualified teachers and reduce class sizes?

  • Dragline Orem, UT
    March 10, 2014 9:38 a.m.

    In 1983, a presidential commission under Ronald Reagan investigated the failing school system and released the Nation at Risk report at its end, stating that if any country had done to use what we have done to our educational system we would have gone to war. Since then we have had the GOP No Child Left Behind (that Utah could not get out of fast enough), UPASS, Democrat's Race to the Top, and now Becky Lockhart's $300 million buy-them-tablets idea. All have been red herrings from the get-go.

    Educational initiatives in the past 50 years have gone nowhere while the world has changed with manufacturing jobs leaving and high tech jobs expanding (look at the billboards on I-15). For all you young people out there looking for jobs and careers, here's a little advice: Your elders no not what they are doing. You are on your own. Build your own education and find your own way. We are out of ideas and wouldn't know how to implement a good one if it fell on us.

  • Z South Jordan, UT
    March 10, 2014 9:31 a.m.

    Bonding?!? To put tablets in every classroom that will need to be replaced every 3 to 5 years? OK, what happened to our fiscally responsible legislature?