Damschen, Gordon, and Donaldson: A proposal to put more money into Utah schools

Written by David Damschen (State Treasurer), Natalie Gordon (School Children’s Trust Specialist), and Tim Donaldson (School Children’s Trust Director). Senator Ann Millner and Representative Mel Brown are proposing SJR12, an amendment to the state constitution that, if passed by 2/3 of the legislature and approved by voters, will increase and stabilize the distribution from the permanent State School Fund through the School LAND Trust program. A corresponding bill, SB109, details the formula that will be used for the distribution. The goal of the amendment is to insure that the distribution from…

Sen. Lyle Hillyard: Tis the Season to be Jolly

As we are getting ready to announce the revenue figures, which will guide our budget work this upcoming session, a familiar poem came to my mind: T’was the night before Christmas (revenue announcements) and all through the House (and Senate as well), Not a creature was stirring except for a mouse (aka Fiscal Analyst). The stockings (budget requests) were all hung by the chimney (EAC chairs offices) with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there. It is our plan to announce the new revenue figures on December…

Public Education’s Focus is the Student [The Hub Debate]

http://www.flickr.com/photos/fulanna/8482679716/

  This is  a Hub Debate on the role of boards of education. For more background, read this.  Participate in the comments or submit a response for publication to UtahPoliticoHub@gmail.com. The question is: “Who do you think the board should serve?  Parents? Students? Why?“ Public education’s target for change is the student. The evidence of excellent or poor teaching is based on assessments (test scores) of our students.  Every aspect of education reform is judged by its effect on student achievement. If schools were to serve parents, perhaps parents would, or should, be the…

Utah’s New Public School Complaint Department!

The last night of the session late in the night a bill squeezed through by one vote, and hackles were raised. S.B.257 Parent Review of Instructional Materials and Curriculum from Sen. Howard Stephenson sounds pretty innocuous.  It asks a parent review committee that already exists to look at complaints raised on materials and curriculum.  The bill also requires that the State Office of Education post on their website a report of the complaints they receive and the actions taken. What’s the big deal? First, the committee now tasked with reviewing complaints…

Public Education Budget

http://www.flickr.com/photos/fulanna/8482679716/

Figuring out the State budget at the beginning of the Legislative Session is like predicting the winner of the Super Bowl. You know the game, have your favorite, but have little idea on the outcome. A couple of years ago, I attended a National Governors Association meeting where Jim Collins the author of several business books spoke, including Built To Last and Good To Great. He talked about several of his leadership concepts; what makes great companies great. After his presentation, a Governor raised his hand and asked whether these concepts…