Our Schools Now has one-fourth of needed signatures for 2018 ballot initiative

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  • Thomas in Saratoga Saratoga Springs, UT
    Oct. 23, 2017 2:49 p.m.

    Taxes have been raised plenty of times to support schools. On it's face, it's a good idea. But then the government redirects the funds that were allocated to education to orher things, and then asks us to pay more for education. Again. There's no plan and no accountability. If I ask you for $20 that I'll probably spend on school, aren't you at least going to ask how it's going to help? I give directly to my kids classes in the form of needed materials- paper, books, kleenex, etc. Leave the overhead of government out if it.

  • Thomas in Saratoga Saratoga Springs, UT
    Oct. 23, 2017 2:49 p.m.

    Taxes have been raised plenty of times to support schools. On it's face, it's a good idea. But then the government redirects the funds that were allocated to education to orher things, and then asks us to pay more for education. Again. There's no plan and no accountability. If I ask you for $20 that I'll probably spend on school, aren't you at least going to ask how it's going to help? I give directly to my kids classes in the form of needed materials- paper, books, kleenex, etc. Leave the overhead of government out if it.

  • The Educator South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 22, 2017 5:54 p.m.

    @ wer

    What's wrong with sex education? Comprehensive Sex Education has proven to lower STD rates, teen pregnancy, and abortion rates. Educators in NEA promoting education? Sounds great to me! Why shouldn't we teach comprehensive sex education? Should we stop teaching evolution or that the earth is round because you don't like it?

    It's amazing the amount of vitriol teachers receive on these pages. Many posters here claim how little teachers work and how overpaid they are. Simple economics proves otherwise. We have a teacher shortage not by accident or some act of god, but simple economics. Some of you could benefit from taking a basic econ 101 class and learn about supply and demand.

    "The principles and other "administrative" personnel are sent on foreign trips all the time, at our expense."

    More fake news? Also, it's principals, not principles. But hey, I guess lying is a hot commodity these days for your side, right?

    Get Educated

  • wer South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 22, 2017 1:05 p.m.

    It is true that teachers do not get paid enough. However, trying to pass off a permanent tax raise as "one time" is not going to help. In addition, the bigger problem is who or what is behind this budget increase? Why, it's the National Education Association (NEA)-the folks who want to make sure every child, regardless of age, gets plenty of sex education (among other liberal, out of touch with Utah values) and that no teacher can be fired, regardless the reason.
    We do not want any more of their influence in this state!

  • water rocket Magna, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 4:53 p.m.

    I am adamantly opposed to any more tax increases! Incidentally, most people don't know that just because the state budgets money for education, or any other purpose, they can redirect those funds where ever they like. I say to stop building palaces and use those funds to pay teachers better, and have schools all year around, instead of letting those expensive buildings sit empty for three months.

  • water rocket Magna, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 4:49 p.m.

    "Sherlock Holmes" made the uninformed statement that Utah is "dead last in the nation in per pupil spending". There are several parts to this problem that need to be recognized #1, When Scott Matheson first became Governor of Utah, he inherited Utah's first billion dollar budget. One of the largest pieces of the budget pie is education. Today our population has doubled while our budget is now over SIXTEEN BILLION dollars. #2, Most of our homes are older than most schools, and yet our educators think it is prudent to spend money to tear down schools and build new palaces. #3 The principles and other "administrative" personnel are sent on foreign trips all the time, at our expense. #4 Why are people with more money than they know what to do with (like Gail Miller) telling those who are struggling financially that they need to pay still more? #5, when are we ever going to stop this annual cry for more money?

  • Goldminer Salem, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 4:32 p.m.

    All these government promises require more and more money and the promises are never fulfilled. One more example of why we really need to turn the schools back to the local people and not the "experts" who have HUGE salaries while the teachers who do the work don't.

    They "promise" a one-time .45% tax, really? I'm sure it will be just .45% but then next year it will go up again and again and again.

    Never ends.

  • Obama10 SYRACUSE, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 4:09 p.m.

    Whether you realize it or not, this story is linked to the story yesterday in the Deseret News about the new Amazon Headquarters coming to Utah. In that story, the Deseret News reported that the state had submitted "financial incentives" for Amazon to build here with the promise of high paying tech jobs. What is not disclosed is "financial incentives" is code for tax breaks including property tax. Property tax breaks for corporations need to be approved by the local school board. So the same "business leaders" who are pushing for a one time income tax increase are the same "business leaders" who ask for tax breaks from the school boards for their company's.

  • sherlock holmes Roosevelt, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 4:01 p.m.

    A recurring question I'm seeing on these pages is: We keep pouring more money each year into education. Is that not enough?

    The answer is that the number of school kids and schools keeps increasing. Utah is growing at a fast rate. Way too fast to keep up with new schools and school teachers. The legislature tries to allocate enough funding to cover just the new growth, and after that, there is little left. And now, we can't as a state hire enough teachers for the new students because other states, and other career opportunities, pay more.

    This problem will not go away. You can believe what you want about school districts and state revenues, but nothing will solve the class size and new growth issues without additional dollars.

  • Jbejarano Eagle Mountain, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 3:22 p.m.

    @alpiner Our Schools Now discloses its donors, while Americans For Prosperity does not. The Lt Gov Office requires them to publish a list of all their donors. I had tried to get other groups to disclose their donors who oppose the initiative. Needless to say they lawyered up and refused. Will the opposition disclose their donors?

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 3:06 p.m.

    Most importantly, do not overlook the fact that the "Raise my taxes" initiative is separate from and in addition to the Legislature's promise to increase spending of your tax dollars for education next year.

    The greedy education establishment (which is not the same as the fine hard working teachers who produce great results) will never say that they have enough money, and no matter how much is given they will be back for more next year and the year after.

    It is time for the education establishment to cut spending on low priority programs, duplicate programs, bloated staffs, redundant bureaucracy, ineffective programs and especially on palatial schools which add huge costs but not a bit more education than if schools are plain and simple.

    Refuse to sign this deceptive ballot initiative, and refuse to allow more money to be taken from people who work hard for it!

  • Alpiner Alpine, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 2:34 p.m.

    I like that quote that Garcia doesn't want to have her grandchildren in a kindergarten class of 50 people in Sandy. How about the DesNews verifying if that is even close to being accurate. These unfounded claims are ridiculous and that is why this initiative will fail. I also like the shot at Americans for Prosperity. Who is this education group paying as their lobbyists?

  • sherlock holmes Roosevelt, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 1:10 p.m.

    If you are happy with the education system as it is right now (I would point out that Utah is dead last or second to dead last of the 50 states on per pupil expenditures), don't support the proposal.

    If you feel that the 30 in a classroom is too many, and you believe that it is difficult to attract good people to be teachers, then you might consider supporting this proposal.

  • Red Dirt St. George, USA, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 12:21 p.m.

    PLEASE support this initiative. If you are anti-tax, please re-consider. This initiative does NOT fund the federal gov't, does NOT fund the State gov't, and does NOT perpetuate the welfare state. It is NOT a heavy burden to the individual tax payer. Anyone who has raised a child recently or who is raising a child understands that our education system in Utah is under-funded and suffering right now. Teacher shortage is a real problem but not the only real problem. Art programs, sport programs, and music programs are being cut. Large class size does negatively impact the education of students. Please our children deserve our best efforts at providing a good education. This initiative will help. And, in the long run, even those of us without children, will benefit from a highly educated people. Please don't let your fear of losing a little money to taxes to get in the way of helping our children and our society. This is very thing I want my tax dollars doing. Let's do what our elected officials don't have the guts to do. Let's do more to fund public education. We won't regret it.

  • search diligently Lehi, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 11:33 a.m.

    Okay, let's help teachers earn more. Let them work more hours and they can earn more, right? Most people work year-round and get a handful or two of holidays off, no sick pay and 2-3 weeks vacation. And believe me, their retirements are not nearly as nice as teacher.

    Let's remove all the extra holidays, spring/fall breaks, summers off and personal/sick time off that teachers are getting. Oh, and let teachers do as most workers do and contribute to their own 401ks and equivalent instead of a retirement paid by taxpayers.

    With the money saved, we could pay teachers more and probably hire more. Really!!

  • GeePost slc, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 11:11 a.m.

    Hmmm, shocking that more people aren't signing up in droves to tax themselves more into oblivion :-)

  • jbejar West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 10:59 a.m.

    @Brave Sir Robin from San Diego
    Teacher pay is highly correlated to crime. I performed a linear regression on teacher salary data in Utah and noticed that there was a very strong correlation between teacher salary and forcible rape 7-9 years later. The ultimate aim of education is character, not math scores, but developing grit and integrity. Test scores will come as we retain the best and brightest

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Oct. 20, 2017 10:45 a.m.

    FYI, there is ZERO correlation between teacher pay, classroom size, and academic success. Teacher pay and classroom size are emotional buzzwords, but are not linked in any way to test scores.

  • sherlock holmes Roosevelt, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 10:40 a.m.

    @water rocket

    You may want to ask for names and dates of district officials that go out of the country on school business. That is NOT a widespread practice.

    If you are happy with the current funding for teachers salary and larger class sizes, don't vote for this proposal. If you want to see some change in those two areas, one should support it.

    My wife has taught 30 4th graders for the past few years. She is a good teacher, IMO. But 30 is tooooo many.

  • No One Of Consequence West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 10:32 a.m.

    These "financially comfortable" people should voluntarily contribute to education instead of coveting the widow's mite and grinding further on the face of the poor. Perhaps they hope to increase the availability of "affordable housing" by taxing those on fixed incomes out of their homes.

  • Erma , 00
    Oct. 20, 2017 10:25 a.m.

    It is about time the people of Utah are stepping up and doing something about Utah’s public education. I have taken an active role in visiting with my local state representatives and have gotten nothing but excuses why we can’t put more funding into education. Too many kids, not enough property tax to go around. We have dedicated teachers in this state that are overworked and underpaid! Why are we allowing this to happen when we are a culture that values education! I moved here from the east and my older children received an education during their elementary years that has benefited them into their adulthood. Thank you to everyone working to promote Our Schools Now!! I have signed your petition and hope to see this initiative on the ballot in November!

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 10:17 a.m.

    No way, no how!!

    School districts do enough raising taxes all on their own. They don't need yet another funding source from the state.

    However, I WILL offer an alternative tax; how about if we stick a 10%surcharge on EVERY new car sold, and a $5.00 surcharge on EVERY Jazz ticket sold??

    THOSE people have demonstrated through their purchases that they can afford "extra" for schools.

    Now the "shoe is on the other foot" - as it should be!

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 10:12 a.m.

    Education is a commitment. Our Congress Representatives and Senators have sat on their hands for 7 years or more blaming the President for their inaction. Working across the aisle is not what the politicians of 15 years have done since 9/11.

    Education is a high pocket item but it is not a groovy proposition for most politicians. Sport activities such as the RSL and bidding on Olympic Games is more appealing to the people that spend more than taxes on season passes to the Jazz, RSL and Buzz tickets. College sports have problems also, such as the Pennsylvania system with coaches and students.

    Taxes through legislative system are better processes than through citizen initiatives. The Charter Schools have really benefitted with State and Federal dollars to inflate their incomes after the first of October deadline when some of their students go back to regular public schools with funding going back. Their student/pupil dollars are then a loss for the District schools and the charter schools benefit.

    I haven't seen the data for those students switching back to the regular public school after October first but not all students fit in the Charter school scene.

  • mr ed hermiston, OR
    Oct. 20, 2017 9:54 a.m.

    How is it that we who are already struggling to make ends meet are told we need to learn to manage our finances better when we ask for more money why doesn't someone tell the schools this .why should we have cough up more when our income stays the same

  • aj6145 clearfield, ut
    Oct. 20, 2017 9:47 a.m.

    Government keeps going down the same path as usual. To them the only answer is to increase revenue. NEVER to cut spending. That's the only answer they can see. They need to get out of the real estate business. Quit building fancy vaulted ceiling schools and buildings. Quit purchases so much property. Cut administrators salaries. Learn to live within their budget like the rest of us. The "percentage" of taxes we pay continues to eat up our income. It's a half of percent here and a half of percent there and NEVER stops. The quality of school teachers surely isn't improving. My grandson comes home from school every day bored to death. He says all his teachers spend the whole time lecturing. I thought we got away from "lectures" years ago. Guess not. I thought we were supposed to be getting the kids involved with class participation. I ask kids with 4 years of high school foreign language a simple question in a native tongue they've supposedly studied and they just give me a blank look. We need to see results before we consider salary raises. Not one of my grandkids can tell me who Abraham Lincoln was or who George Washington was. ????????????????????????

  • HB Ogden, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 9:24 a.m.

    I don't have faith that the money will be used to increase teacher salary or reduce class size. Therefore I will vote no. If the federal and state government had less involvement in education, there would be plenty of money for local schools to make their own decisions with the help of parents. Teachers would have higher pay, class sizes would be smaller. Our country did great things even when it educated kids in one-room school houses. Now we pay out a whole lot of money for what?

  • Rick for Truth Provo, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 9:13 a.m.

    You have raised my property taxes beyond inflation every year, you raise my sales taxes. Your only, I mean only answer to everything is to raise my taxes over and over. No, I will not vote for this debacle, I will fight you every step of the way. Go to Taxifornia if you want to throw away money that is NOT yours. Get your filthy hands out of my pockets. You didn’t earn it, it’s not yours, live like us within your budget.

  • Lifelong Republican Orem, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 9:07 a.m.

    I have yet to see a principal take a foreign trip on tax payer money. I'd like to hear one real life true example please. Just because you "heard it" doesn't make it true.

    I would also like to see any teacher that got a $10,000 raise. I remember one district giving a 10% raise but not a $10,000 raise. 10% for a beginning teacher would work out to be about $3,500 which still makes their salary pitiful for a college graduate.

    By the way most districts got a 2-3% raise this past year but none of that made it to the local news. That amounts to about $700.

    This initiative is going to pass. We need it to pass. Our kids need it to pass. We need qualified teachers in every classroom and we need to pay the teachers a great salary. Not a decent salary, a great salary!

    I'm ready to sign and I'm a republican. I'm tired of the rhetoric from our legislators. I am friends with a few legislators and they are afraid if they raise taxes they will get voted out. When I tell them we support raising taxes for education they turn the other way. I want my kids and grandkids to have experienced teachers. It makes a huge difference!

  • imsmarterthanyou Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 8:04 a.m.

    It's always the same with these people. Tax increase upon tax increase. I have an idea, lets take away ALL tax dollars from the schools and let the parents of the students pay for their schooling. Me and a lot of other people are sick & tired of paying for the education of other people's kids. If you can't afford to raise, educate, shelter, feed, and clothe your kids then you shouldn't have kids. Period.

  • Jbejarano Eagle Mountain, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 7:41 a.m.

    Please sign this initiative. If you have doubts, visit your local school. Look at their success with SITLA (Trustlands funds). Schools have been able to choose how to spend their money with parents help and its been a wonderful success. Now with Our Schools Now, we should see amazing results!!!

  • Flying Finn Murray, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 7:37 a.m.

    @Orem Parent - Orem, UT

    Hopefully people on fixed incomes who have to chose between eating and paying higher taxes will speak out at the ballot box. Over the years my property taxes have increased 50% and I'm paying more than my fair share of taxes now.

  • aeadams San Antonio, TX
    Oct. 20, 2017 7:25 a.m.

    My dad has been a high school teacher for 30+ years so maybe I'm tainted but if I had any faith that even 50% of this money would actually be used for what people are hoping for (smaller class sizes, higher teacher pay, etc) then I'd go for it. But I have no faith in the school districts using this money to truly help students. Instead it'd be wasted on pet projects. Districts are always looking for "innovative" ways to help students instead of just helping teachers do their jobs and helping students get more individual attention and education. Until that changes, I'm not in favor of just throwing more money at the problem.

  • PorLibertad Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 7:20 a.m.

    You'd have to pretty un-educated to not see that tax payers cannot continue to support increasing taxes. Our tax burden in this state is already in the top half of America. Just say NO to another tax increase voters - tell the politicians and educators to find ways to be more efficient and less wasteful with the monies they already have!

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 7:13 a.m.

    When will the insanity stop? We the taxpayers of Utah already shoulder an enormous tax burden that is killing us! Next a lot of people will have to start choosing between paying rent or buying groceries so that we can prop up an education system that already receives an obscene amount of tax dollars.

    I urge our citizens to vote NO to any additional tax increases to support schools and education. Take a look at your property tax valuation form and see how much you are currently shelling out for the school systems. This has just go to stop!

  • dski HERRIMAN, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 7:11 a.m.

    It seems there will never be enough money for these folks. A record amount of money were allocated in the State budgets in the last few years and we were told we are heading the right direction. If businesses like this idea, why don't they spent part of their profits in this endeavor. Maybe it's time to pare down big infrastructures and increase online education. Many people graduate from high schools cannot fill out a job application correctly. Many cannot even read. And all these money for what? Money spent per student does not guarantee much. According to reports on Utah high schools' academic progress, many States who spent more money than Utah are far behind academically. What does that tell me? Vote no if it comes through the ballot box.

  • Justiciaparatodos Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 7:10 a.m.

    Can someone help me out here please.

    My property taxes went up $300.00 again this year after going up $300.00 last year too. Then we just received a ballot in the mail to authorize Granite School District to obtain a bond that would increase my property taxes about $160.00 a year more. Bet you can't guess how we voted on the Granite School Tax bond?

    Now "Our Schools Now" wants to increase our taxes even more. I'm on a fixed income and these taxes are sinking the part of my ship that hasn't already sunk with the Healthcare disaster we have in American.

    I note that a big percentage of my $600.00 property tax increases already goes to support schools - so who can explain to us tax payers how the powers that be can have the unmitigated gall to ask for more of our money for education?

  • Paulartz Logan, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 7:05 a.m.

    Anyone who doesn't support the best education possible is a fool. Our future is an advanced technological world. Education is a continual process in though out our lives!!!

  • liberal larry Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 6:54 a.m.

    I tend to think that laws should be made by our elected representatives, but when they are all in the pockets of people like the Koch Brothers, it's time for people to take action.

    The sales taxes increase in highly regressive, but at least the income tax increase is more progressive.

    A tax on higher end homes would be a good source of revenue, but this is good first step forward!

  • Oh Really? HERRIMAN, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 5:36 a.m.

    “It’s a business issue.”

    It’s a business issue, all right. The business of charter schools.

    Teachers in nearly every district just got $10,000 a year raises, which is great. I applaud that. But sales taxes are regressive, and combine that with income tax and it’s too much.

    Remember, Utah, what everyone always forgets: we are in a boom now, and there is inevitably a bust. Do you want higher taxes when that comes around again?

  • hardware Erda, Ut
    Oct. 20, 2017 5:31 a.m.

    I am sorry, but throwing money at education never works. We need to get politics out of the classroom and our education system and go back to educating these kids without the progressive overtones.

  • Orem Parent Orem, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 12:50 a.m.

    If the legislature won't do it, we the people will.

    I'll sign the first chance I get.

  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 19, 2017 11:44 p.m.

    They need to talk to the politicians pushing another 40 million or more to do another Olympics. Education or Olympics? Should be an easy call.

  • water rocket Magna, UT
    Oct. 19, 2017 11:25 p.m.

    I learned recently from a school district employee that principles and administrators routinely go on foreign trips at tax payer expense. This, along with the absolutely wasteful tearing down of perfectly good school buildings, and other wasteful practices needs to stop. If they did stop, there would be no need to increase taxes even more.

  • Åpenhet Farmington, UT
    Oct. 19, 2017 8:25 p.m.

    The author of this article states, "Our Schools Now seeks to ask voters for a one-time, 0.45 percent increase in sales and income tax rates in 2019, which would generate more than $700 million in annual public education funding." It doesn't seem to me that it is a "one-time...increase ...in 2019", rather it is an increase that also will remain in place each year thereafter.
    It also seems that if we really want to ensure that the increased funding is used effectively, it would be prudent for the school administrators to submit an outline for how the funds would be used before taxpayers commit to give them the money. Otherwise, there is high risk that the money will be used to perpetuate problems (e.g., little performance assessment and accountability especially for underperforming teachers and under-recognition and compensation for high performing teachers).
    Show me your planned use of funds, then let's talk about funding.