It is obvious from the slate of bills before the Utah Legislature that there's an agenda here...and it's distinctly anti-school and conversely, anti-school children.
We begin with the voucher bill, or the spin title "School Choice". This elitist bill would take money from the worst-funded (even during a huge surplus) public schools in the nation and give it to parents to send their kids to private schools. Here's why it doesn't make any sense:
1 - The upper limit is $3,500 per year. At last count, the tuition for Waterford School in Sandy was $15,000 a year. The rich can pay that with or without tax credits, but why not throw another bone their way? They claim these credits will benefit people with all incomes, but what poor family can come up with $11,500 more to pay for private tuition?
2 - Private Schools would receive public money without having to answer to the public. Private schools can hire whomever they please, as long as they meet standards set by the board of the private school. They can teach whatever they want, or not teach whatever they want. There are not testing standards or attendance standards.
While I agree that parents should be able to have a say in what their child learns in school, if they want to send their kid to a place where there is more focus on religious tenets than math and science, public dollars should not subsidize that.
Learn more here.
Next comes the bill taking away in-state tuition for children of illegal immigrants. This hateful bill would take away the chance for children who are already here, many of them citizens, to become more productive members of society. But why do that when we can trample them down and create a secondary class of citizens?
Finally comes the partisan school board race. As if the majority party does not control enough of the state, they want to make school board elections less about kids and more about making sure they have the right people to support their anti-education agenda. In addition, they would make the superintendent an elected position, rather than one determined by the elected school board according to qualifications. Would this also be a partisan election? One would hope that a persons education, experience, and devotion to education would outweigh the letter that follows their name on the ballot.