Op-ed: Utahns should demand no taxation without innovation

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  • Miss Bay Hyrum, UT
    June 20, 2017 3:55 p.m.

    What in Tucket?: It's always a bit dangerous to make blanket generalizations. My school teaches all of those you mentioned, and much more.

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    June 19, 2017 9:54 a.m.

    Government schools should teach cursive, phonetics, and Singapore math. Since they do not I would send my child to another school. It is not always how much we spend, but what the teachers teach.

  • SMcloud Sandy, UT
    June 19, 2017 4:39 a.m.

    Taxes are actually at a historic low.

    I would say that the underfunding of public schools is part of the problem. Cutting taxes does not solve every equation. Services come at a cost and that applies to police and fire departments, city services like sewer and water and schools.

    If we want to continue to be successful as a state we need to start investing in our children, not supporting older people who are healthy enough to keep working.

  • Homer1 MIDVALE, UT
    June 19, 2017 1:00 a.m.

    Her reference to the famous Coleman Report of 1966 is irresponsibly misapplied. The report’s conclusion at the time, which is still valid today, is that the largest predictors of student success are the poverty and the socio-economic background of student and their peers. Maybe that should say something to us about our society’s larger approach to poverty and social inequality, but to use the report to say that a school’s “resources contribute very little to student outcomes” therefore schools don’t need money cynically misses its point and doesn’t even make sense when you think about it.

  • Homer1 MIDVALE, UT
    June 19, 2017 12:56 a.m.

    The real innovation today would be reversing the consistent trend in our state of almost three decades of declining state funding for public education and work to appropriately fund the public school system.

    We have to pay for buildings, light bulbs, paint, carpet cleaning, heating, teaching materials, copy machines, white boards, staff, custodians, teachers, administrators, etc. to maintain our public school system. Instead of undermining support of a public school system that the public has invested in for decades, we should be finding ways to improve our commitment, to more fully realize our vision as a public. Ms. Cooke can continue to wallow in the stagnant anti-government, anti-public naysaying of the tea partiers, but it is past time for the political adults to pay the bills for our public education. Despite Sutherland’s wish to privatize any public service, the public has consistently taken the long view, supporting a public school system for over a century that educates ALL students, using public funds, accountable to the public, all for the common good.

  • Orem Parent Orem, UT
    June 18, 2017 10:12 p.m.

    I will gladly support the tax increase to pay my children's teachers a living wage. I'm tired of them getting "interns" and "student teachers". They need real teachers will some experience. Pay them more and they will come.

    It really is that simple.

    June 18, 2017 11:00 a.m.

    Competition brings out the best in innovation and efficiency and results in the best products for the consumer. In this case the product is education for our children. The best way to accomplish competition is to tie the education money to the child and not to a school district. It is the economic law of supply and demand. The more private schools competing for the child (and the education money tied to him or her) the price of educating our children would be drastically more efficient and the better schools would be paying good money to keep the good teachers.

    How did this country ever survive it's first 100+ years when a majority of it's children were taught at home or in private schools?

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    June 18, 2017 10:20 a.m.

    Since this is the Sutherland Institute talking, it's no surprise there is no consideration of a more progressive income tax system, which could partially pay for more education. Utah's overall tax structure is regressive.

    I wonder if the writer has spent any time teaching in a public school. I have and here is my take. Education is one field where more labor is needed. I can tell you what teachers want is a second adult in the classroom! Fund teachers' aides and pay them something!

    Schools should teach basic and well rounded skills. It should be balanced between STEM and the arts. The arts are an industry too, and some students need this entry point.

    Also, teach skills necessary for formation of Worker Self Directed Enterprises. For many kids, this will prove the only way out of a negative labor market for them, in the years ahead.

  • libs think what??? Salt Lake City, UT
    June 18, 2017 8:18 a.m.

    it would be beneficial if you were to give concrete examples, rather than just cite broad areas.

    we need to pay our teachers more. it's like watering the garden, not enough and the plants die so what you did use was wasted.

    another jab at the legislature.


    US News and World Reports recently rate our state govt among the top 5 in the country.

    it's difficult to invest in solid families when the definition of a family is so fluid. we reap what we sow.

  • Christina Logan, UT
    June 18, 2017 8:11 a.m.

    Impartial7 makes a very good point - we need tighter conflict of interest laws. The amount of money the pertinent legislator has received from K12, inc. over the years should be public knowledge.

    Birder, many of the things you mentioned reflect the current workplace. Children must be taught to work in teams while being held responsible for individual effort, to use technology, and to respect their teachers and work hard to learn the material because those skills are required in today's workforce.

    I agree that in the end we need to invest in families - it's parents, not teachers or the public school system, that make the biggest difference in children's lives.

  • squirt Taylorsville, ut
    June 18, 2017 8:13 a.m.

    Christine, this is the same old argument from the Sutherland Institute. Education has been starved of resources in this state and then labeled as failing. That is unethical. Time to step up and adequately fund our schools. The rhetoric in your piece is a false narrative.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    June 18, 2017 1:28 a.m.

    How about we try the delivery of reasonable class sizes for our teachers?

  • metisophia Ogden, UT
    June 17, 2017 9:33 p.m.

    How innovative to roll out studies from 1966 and 1994. How comforting to know a spokesperson from Sutherland thinks she has all the answers to something that teachers devote their lives too. Want to know where Utah needs to spend more money? Talk to a public school teacher.

  • birder Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2017 6:17 p.m.

    I don't think that any of the so-called innovations of the last ten years have improved things for students. I'm referring to more technology, more testing, Common Core, and an emphasis on group work over individual effort. In addition, classrooms are packed, paperwork for teachers has more than doubled, and we are getting more dysfunctional children in the system.

    Nothing will fix the education system without investing in solid families.

    I would put skills of those of us educated many years ago up against anything we are getting now. I went through elementary school in the sixties. We respected our teachers, did our work, learned to read, write, and do math. Our lives didn't revolve around our phones like they do today. I know those days are gone for good, but I don't think "innovation" is the answer. That word gives me nightmares as a teacher. What's next for no pay?

  • MrLogic Brigham City, UT
    June 17, 2017 3:03 p.m.

    We've tried it this way for years. We now face a teacher shortage due to underpaid and demoralized teachers. I submit that keeping our schools resource poor in order to force teachers to improve has been tried - and failed (and failed rather miserably at that). Teachers don't improve when you critique and underpay them - they quit!

    It's one thing to say that more money doesn't help, but there's a point where too little money hurts. And we are below that point (evidence = teacher shortage).

  • Holy-Schamoly-What Baloney Kaysville, UT
    June 17, 2017 2:57 p.m.

    Amen, Sister!!!

  • The Educator South Jordan, UT
    June 17, 2017 11:21 a.m.

    What if we already have?

    It's pretty ignorant to assume that for years now, Utah educators have been shortchanged and haven't made adjustments, right? Perhaps we've innovated as much as we can with the small amount of investment as we've received? At some point we need to admit that public education needs public investment, not just lip service.

    In fact, I'm willing to compare the innovation that educators have made in public education here in Utah to that of any other industry.

    So when are we going to invest into public education?

    Are we going to wait until our classrooms are double the size and turnover rate is above 70 percent?

    Get Educated

  • stevo123 Driggs, ID
    June 17, 2017 10:42 a.m.

    I'am not opposed to a well thought out tax increase to fun education, but not one penny to vouchers.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    June 17, 2017 10:29 a.m.

    In Utah, public school "innovation" is whatever some legislator is trying to sell to the education department. Whether it be poorly functioning software, i-pads or i-pad knockoffs, if a Utah legislator can make big bucks off of it, they will approve the expense to Utah taxpayers.