Daily Fix, March 10

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Obviously, it’s a bit harder to blog and legislate simultaneously than I had hoped. The Utah House passed a passel of Senate education bills yesterday. Here’s a sampling:

*The state took another step forward into the 21st century by passing SB65. This bill will divide the per-student funding that is sent to public schools into equal parts so students can take “a la carte” classes from online providers. The funding will follow the students. This is a great example of “disruptive innovation” as we look to the future of education in the state. Deseret News

*SB 59, a bill to grade schools based on several criteria passed the House by a narrow margin. The 39-32 vote followed a number of passionate speeches from opponents and supporters. I was pleased to be able to speak to both SB 65 and SB 59. I want my children to be graded and I want their schools to be graded D News

*SB 73 was passed that eliminates the “last hired, first fired” policy. Trib

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7 Responses to “Daily Fix, March 10”

  1. JBT Says:

    SB65 represents nothing more than trying to get the camel’s nose under the tent with regard to using public tax dollars to go to private education providers. The public’s will on this issue was made clear with the resounding defeat of school vouchers. Now the conservatives are still trying to get their way by nibbling around the edges of the issue.

    SB59 was nothing more than a wrongheaded approach to copy cat Florida’s school grading system that was put into effect in that state following the huge influx of money into education.

    In 1998, Florida voters passed a unique amendment to the state constitution requiring the state to make “adequate provision . . . for a uniform, efficient, safe, secure, and high quality system of free public schools”.

    In 2002, Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment to reduce class sizes by 2010 to 18 students in prekindergarten through third grades, 22 students in fourth through eighth grades, and 25 students in ninth through 12th grades. As a result, 97 percent of traditional public schools’ classroom averages now meet constitutional requirements. To achieve this goal, Florida has invested $15.8 billion in reducing class sizes at all grade levels since the 2002-03 school year.

    Now the R’s in the Utah Legislature have passed a bill inflicting the same school grading program that accompanied Florida’s huge investment on Utah’s public schools who have the largest class sizes in the nation and the lowest per pupil expenditures—$3,300.00 lower than Florida for the 2008-2009 school year.

    Perhaps we need a letter grade for the members of the Utah Legislature in meeting the educational needs of our students, whom they merely pay lip service to as our “most important resource”.

    I would certainly give Holly Richardson, mother of multitudes who pays less than her fair share to educate those children due to the large number of exemptions taken on her state tax return, a big fat “F” for voting for the education bills mentioned in her blog. I’d give her another “F” for being proud of those votes.

  2. Bronson Says:

    Holly,

    It has been reported that you home school your children. Is this true? If so what lead you to that decision?

    Bronson

  3. Scott Says:

    There is a fla in your thinking when it comes to Mexicans in our country, they pay very few if any taxes, they will live two to three and sometimes four in one home (renting no taxes paid there), somehow they know how to get every penny out of their check, when they come here they don’t
    live or eat like we do so they pay v
    ery little in food (beans and rice), they send most of their money home to Mexico. I have done the books for some of the big construction companies here in Utah and I am outraged by what they are aloud to get away with, we as Americans have lost our way (we don’t know who we are, partly to blame is the Government. We have learn Spanish if not us our children. If we were to go to Mexico do you think for one min. they would print anything for our benifit. Not at all, if fact they would say”learn our languge or go home. I have friends that have come from Mexico and they waited, and now they are up set because people like you are turnninmg your back on Americans to say “be part of us” when they have no intention of learning English, they just want to get what they can and get out! You are selling us and our children down the river, so you can look good now.

  4. Pops Says:

    There’s a certain irony in Scott’s English vs. Spanish diatribe…

    Renters pay property tax, albeit indirectly. But they do pay property tax, I can assure you. Landlords aren’t in the business to lose money.

    If the federal government isn’t going to do anything about immigration, we need to make sure everybody living and working in Utah is on the radar, paying taxes, being treated fairly, and yes, learning English.

  5. mark Says:

    Well thank heavens the legislative session is over. As usual, rather than preoccupying itself with important budget matters in a bleak year, the legislature chose to grandstand again.

    They passed bills concerning immigration which may end up in costly legal challenges. The topic of guns and gun rights was addressed ad nauseam. Where the legislature finds time to worry about garbage like creating an official “state gun” is beyond me. The legislature struck a major blow for secrecy in government by limiting access to legislator’s text messages and emails. One has to wonder what these people have to hide.

    Perhaps, worst of all the legislature continues to tinker with the “referendum process” making it ever more difficult for the public to hold a vote and repeal some of their more obnoxious bills. My bet is they haven’t finished trying to cram vouchers down all are throats. I expect to see this back on the legislative agenda one of these years soon.

    Here’s to ya, Holly. Another legislative session largely wasted. Now you can go back to that horde of kids of yours and mother them instead of getting daycare while your off at the legislature.

  6. rmwarnick Says:

    Holly, you gave me an idea. Next legislative session, let’s replace ALL the Utah legislature with Utah bloggers and see what happens. Couldn’t be any worse than this year’s session!

  7. Pops Says:

    Might not be a bad idea. The legislature reminds me of the civics class that was required in high school in which we conducted a mock legislature. Since grading was partially dependent on the number of bills a person sponsored, there were boatloads of completely inane legislation designed to make someone feel good about themselves. Ugh.

    We need a constitutional amendment that says they can’t pass a law without repealing one (or maybe two) old laws.

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