What an education savings account can do for your student

By Christine Cooke Each student has unique educational needs. Students, parents and teachers know this, but our school system doesn’t always reflect it. Wouldn’t it be nice if parents could customize education to fit the unique needs of each student? Starting in 2011, some states have implemented a funding mechanism to help customize education—these are called education savings accounts. Education savings accounts are publicly funded accounts that parents can access in order to pay for a variety of educational choices. For instance, based on the needs or interest of their…

Put Common Core clamor aside: Let’s talk about educational standards

By Boyd Matheson and Christine Cooke Education, which represents two-thirds of our state budget and is vital to our future, continues to be front and center in Utah’s political and policy debates. It is worthy of our attention and our best efforts to engage in serious, meaningful dialogue. We are convinced that a marketplace of educational options and a culture that respects the unique, individual learning needs of students is critical. In order to cut through the clamor of political rhetoric, here are a few of our insights on this…

What the Bears Ears means to the San Juan County Navajos

By Matthew Anderson Southeastern Utah is a land of towering mesas, ancient cliff dwellings and red rock canyons. More impressive than the landscape, however, are the native people who call it home. Last month I spent a week visiting with members of the Aneth Chapter of the Navajo Nation learning about their history, culture and hopes for the future. While each shared with me unique stories and perspectives, one common theme was present in all our discussions – the proposed Bears Ears National Monument. The San Juan County Navajo have…

6 myths about the proposed Bears Ears National Monument

By Matthew Anderson Misconceptions and rumors are circulating around the proposed designation of a Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah. Proponents of the monument have hurled unsubstantiated promises and propaganda at the people of Utah in an attempt to push through their agenda. The Coalition for Self-Government in the West and Sutherland Institute examine here five such claims – attempting to sort out fact from fiction. Fiction: The Utah Navajos living in San Juan County are pushing for a Bears Ears National Monument. Fact: San Juan County Navajos do…

Boyd Matheson: Intolerant tolerance is not tolerance at all

Editor’s Note: This op-ed originally appeared May 5, 2016, in The Salt Lake Tribune. By Boyd Matheson The recent kerfuffle over Lynette Gay and the honorary degree that the University of Utah plans to award her is a case study in the kind of intolerant tolerance that seems to be driving and, in my view destroying, meaningful public dialogue and serious debate on the important issues of our day. Crying intolerance and spewing accusations of hate have become the new go-­to strategy for shutting down debate or discrediting those who…

Sutherland applauds Utah commission’s resolution opposing unilateral use of the Antiquities Act [UPH Wire]

On Wednesday, the Utah Legislature’s Commission on the Stewardship of Public Lands adopted a resolution opposing the unilateral use of the Antiquities Act to designate new national monuments. The Obama administration is considering a number of national monument designations in the state this year – including a 1.9-million-acre designation in the Bears Ears area of southeastern Utah. The overarching message of the resolution is that local input and state legislative approval should be required for future designations. Utah’s natural beauty and pristine landscapes are unparalleled, drawing millions of visitors from…

Boyd Matheson: What’s at the core of our character?

By Boyd Matheson James Allen wrote, “Circumstances do not make the man, but reveal him.” Truer words have never been spoken. Throughout the ages seemingly great men and great women have been exposed as less than noble, less than genuine and even less than human when faced with challenging circumstances. The reverse is also true – Men and women who were seemingly ordinary, when thrust into the most difficult situations, have risen to extraordinary heights of courage, character and integrity. Watching this great “revealing” is the stuff history and legends…

Sutherland Institute: Education and the race for governor

By Christine Cooke You’ll be voting for a governor this year. So what do Utah’s Republican gubernatorial candidates have to say about education? Sutherland Institute has been working to help you get some answers. For instance, on April 11 Jonathan Johnson and Governor Gary Herbert fielded a variety of questions from Sutherland Institute’s Boyd Matheson and KSL’s Doug Wright at the GOP gubernatorial debate, hosted by the Utah Federation of Republican Women. The moderators asked Gov. Herbert and Johnson about their first priority in public school funding and whether they…

Sutherland Institute: 2 candidates for governor differ on how to return public lands to local control

By Matthew Anderson The public-lands debate is among the most heated political topics in Utah. So it was little surprise that questions about federal lands and the impact they have on the state were among the first asked in the April 11 Republican gubernatorial debate and in the follow-up conversations Sutherland Institute had with Governor Gary Herbert and Jonathan Johnson. Both candidates share a belief that federal lands should be turned over to the state of Utah – making comments to that effect during their interview with Sutherland’s Boyd Matheson.…

Acknowledging pornography as a public health crisis [UPH Wire]

Awareness of the threat that pornography poses to America’s health and society will top the agenda Tuesday morning at the Utah State Capitol as Governor Gary Herbert hosts a press conference and ceremonial bill signing. The focus of the event will be SCR 9 – Concurrent Resolution on the Public Health Crisis, a resolution recognizing pornography as “a public health hazard leading to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts and societal harms.” A related bill, HB 155 – Reporting of Child Pornography, will also be addressed. Gov.…