Daily Fix, Dec 28

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After a brown Christmas, brace yourself for this week’s storm and the cold that is due to follow. Herriman Rep Carl Wimmer has re-introduced a plan for vouchers, Herbert’s spokeswoman is going to work for a company that did all media for Sim Gill’s campaign, Joe Miller finally realized he actually lost the race in Alaska some time ago and Mark Sanford isn’t going hiking any time soon.

*Utah lawmaker Carl Wimmer has introduced a bill that would bring back vouchers for private school students. In an exclusive interview with Channel 4’s Chris Vanocur, Wimmer admitted Speaker-elect Lockhart would find out about it as she watched the news. In a Twitter conversation with opponents, he said to oppose it was “cruel and indefensible.” ABC 4

*Governor Herbert’s spokeswoman, Angie Welling, is stepping away from that job to take a position in the private sector. She will be joining Love Communications, a “full-service” ad agency in Salt Lake. In an interesting twist, Love Communications handled all communications and marketing for Sim Gill, Democrat who successfully defeated Lohra Miller for the SL County DA spot. ABC 4 Utah Pulse

*Joe Miller might finally be ready to face facts. He lost. Murkowski won. Time to quit whining. Des News

*Newt Gingrich’s daughter says her father is very serious about a 2012 run for president. Really? Come on – really?? Human Events

*Departing South Carolina governor Mark Sanford has no plans to hike the Appalachian trail any time soon. He did not comment, however, on whether a visit to Argentina was on the agenda. Politico

*And, if none of that catches your interest, maybe you could go be a stagehand at the Lincoln Center in NYC, where the AVERAGE salary is $290,000. Washington Examiner

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10 Responses to “Daily Fix, Dec 28”

  1. JBT Says:

    I didn’t imagine even Wimmer was stupid enough to try to revive the fight over vouchers in this state. I guess I underestimated him.

  2. Pops Says:

    Or perhaps you misunderestimated him…

    I suppose the vouchers concept would go away if we could figure out how to dramatically improve the results we’re getting in our schools. One point above the US average is pretty dismal in absolute terms. We’re continually told by the UEA that more money is the solution, but that clearly hasn’t worked elsewhere. Some of the worst-performing schools have the highest per-pupil spending.

    I’m not so sure the entire problem resides in our schools.

  3. Daniel B. Says:

    Maybe with Angie at Love, their clients can avoid getting any more signs that look like sausage wrappers or beer labels.

  4. JBT Says:

    Pops, conservatives like yourself have continuously said that throwing more money at education in Utah isn’t the solution. This however is just a theory, since it has never been tried. šŸ™‚

    According to the latest statistics Utah spends $5964 per pupil, 50th in the nation and $4000 per pupil BELOW the national average. When Utah’s test scores are compared with states with similar demographics and income levels, Utah’s scores are the lowest. What is even more alarming is that the trend is moving downward.

    It is a patently stupid argument to point out the states that spend more and still have low test scores and equate that with money having no effect. With the severe socioeconomic problems facing many schools in those states, just imagine how much lower their scores would be without those levels of funding. True money isn’t all of the solution to better schools and education, but just think what Utah could offer our students if somehow we were able to increase spending by $4000 per student and just come up to AVERAGE in the United States.

    Ten years ago Utah could boast that per capita we were spending a higher percentage of our state income on education that anywhere else—in other words making the greatest effort. Unfortunately that is no longer true thanks to our Republican dominated legislature. Utah’s “per capita” spending on education has dropped to 30th in the nation.

    Utah’s citizens soundly rejected the idea of vouchers for private schools two years ago. Wimmer needs to wise up and get the message through his thick head that vouchers are the last thing Utah’s cash strapped education system needs now or in the future.

  5. Pops Says:

    It’s a patently stupid argument to assert that spending more money on education would raise test scores given the negative correlation between spending and test scores nationwide.

    How about instead of just throwing money at the problem we stop and figure out what the problem is and how to solve it?

  6. JBT Says:

    Sorry Pops. You like to get into arguments with people, but it is obvious you “don’t know what you don’t know”.

    You can’t compare Utah’s schools with those in New York or Washington D.C. where a lot more money is spent on education and test results are poor.

    Please take a look at this study done by the Utah Foundation. http://www.utahfoundation.org/reports/?p=686

    You will see that Utah’s test scores lag behind states with similar demographic make ups. The only measurable difference between Utah and these peer states is that they spend between $7,700 and $10,000 per student to Utah’s $5,964. Their class sizes are at least 40% lower than those in Utah, and the support staffs in their schools—aids, counselors, librarians etc. are double.

    When one compares apples to apples and oranges to oranges, it is apparent that increased funding does make a substantial difference. Comparing Utah to the poverty blighted inner city schools of Washington DC to suggest that spending more money in Utah will not improve Utah’s educational system and test scores is intellectually dishonest argument.

    We all need to support Utah’s public schools, which have done more with less than any state in the U.S. for many, many years. That means to make the personal sacrifices (yes taxes) to bring our schools up to at least adequate funding levels. Dead last in the nation and $4000 per pupil below the national average is far from adequate, by any definition.

  7. Pops Says:

    Studies show the correlation between spending and student performance to be weak to nonexistent. “It is apparent” hardly qualifies as an intelligent approach.

    I would like to invite you to rejoin the real world. The state of Utah is on the brink of financial disaster. We’ve dipped deeply into the rainy-day fund. We’re skating on the edge. The economy is weak. So let me ask – where do propose to come up with a couple of billion dollars? Do you think hiking tax rates by 50% would be appropriate? Do you think you could get it through the legislature? Do you think the people of Utah want to see their taxes dramatically raised?

  8. Ronald D. Hunt Says:

    “So let me ask ā€“ where do propose to come up with a couple of billion dollars?”

    I suggest raising the after sale net profit tax such that we don’t hurt hiring or the buying power the of our demand capacity, and seeing as the State already blow out their reasoning for a flat tax system by handing out credits to businesses lets move back to a progressive tax curve necessary to have a sustainable tax base when such things are being given out. I suggest going from 5% to 6% for the base rate and 8% on income over $1 million dollars.

    Alternatively a State bank or a state single payer health care system could be used to balance the books and provide increased revenue for education.

    “Do you think the people of Utah want to see their taxes dramatically raised?”

    And do you think anyone enjoys getting shots, or enjoys following speed limits while driving a Bugatti Veyron? Speed limits, immunizations, and taxes are rarely “fun” but all are necessary.

    Also JBT was kind enough to provide a link to a study proving his point mind doing the same?

  9. Jerome Borden Says:

    About that Miller-Murkowski race: Her last four votes came out Obama 4 to TEA party 0. Next year, the balance will be, I think, 52 Democrats (including the Independent) and 48 Republicans. Some of the Democrats are “Blue Dog” while some of the Republicans are “RINO”. So, on some of those Cloture votes, Murkowski could be the swing vote. It will be interesting to see how she turns out. When is Begich up for reelection? This could be Miller’s next shot.

  10. Pops Says:

    The statist mentality is to figure out how to extract ever more money from the citizenry. No solution is too expensive to be tried. If it isn’t working, it’s because we’re not spending enough.

    The market mentality is to figure out how to maximize available resources. Innovation and invention are often the path to what otherwise would be impossible.

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