Some of the fastest growing Utah colleges and universities also receive the lowest amount of state funding per student. But this year, the state legislature has set aside $50 million to strike a balance at these institutions and keep costs low for students.
Utah Valley University, Weber State University, Salt Lake Community College, Dixie State University and Utah State University regional campuses will all get some of the so-called equity funding.
A bill that would provide training for teachers and parents on child sexual abuse and give schools the option to educate students about avoiding abuse cleared its last major hurtle in the state legislature on Tuesday.
House Bill 286, sponsored by Democratic Representative Angela Romero requires the State Board of Education and Department of Human Services to approve the required curriculum by 2016.
Kevin J. Worthen will become the 13th president of Brigham Young University. His appointment was announced Tuesday morning at a student devotional.
Worthen is a former law professor and the current vice-president of advancement at BYU.
Among his challenges in the new job will be dealing with hundreds of young men and women coming home from missionary service. The change in the age for service to 18 for men and 19 for women meant BYU had a smaller incoming freshman class this year. Worthen thinks those returning missionaries may be better prepared.
Utah House and Senate leaders have finally come to an agreement on the state budget following a week’s-long impasse. The sticking point was primarily House Speaker Rebecca Lockhart’s proposed $200 million technological upgrade for public education. But that bill is now off the table.
House Speaker Rebecca Lockhart says the technology initiative would have required up to $50 million in ongoing revenue to make it worthwhile. But Senate leaders were unwilling to spend more than $26 million.
Utah won’t be subjecting state school board candidates to partisan elections this year. House Bill 228, sponsored by Republican Representative Brian Greene, would have done away with the current process of choosing candidates for the ballot in favor of partisan election. The House narrowly voted it down on Friday.
Right now, a seven-member committee appointed by the governor is responsible for recruiting and vetting candidates. The governor then takes the committee’s recommendations and narrows the list down to two candidates for each district.
When fine particle air pollution along the Wasatch Front reaches the high end of what the Utah Division of Air Quality deems unhealthy, the Utah Department of Health recommends schools keep students inside for recess. But some wonder if that recommendation should come when pollution levels are even lower. Officials with the Utah Asthma Program say discussions about revising those standards are underway.
The Southern Poverty Law Center says Utah is about average among other states in how well it covers the civil rights movement in the classroom. But the organization’s latest report from the Teaching Tolerance Project shows the average grade is pretty poor.
Parents who homeschool their children in Utah will not be required to follow any state curriculum guidelines under a bill that passed the state Senate Monday. The debate centered around whose responsibility it is to see that children are educated – parents or the government.
The bill’s sponsor Republican Aaron Osmond explained to the Senate that parents who teach their children at home do not want to be constrained by state curriculum guidelines, and that some of the parents are concerned about the influence of national Common Core Standards in Utah.
A bill that would allow schools to set aside regular classroom days for teacher professional development advanced in the Utah House of Representatives on Wednesday--but not without some contention.
Professional development days give teachers time out of the classroom to collaborate and train on new technologies, learning materials and curriculum. Prior to the recession, Utah spent roughly $70 million dollars on professional development but that money is no longer available.
State lawmakers in the Senate Education committee voted unanimously Monday morning to support proposed changes to the controversial school grading system. Republican Senator Stuart Adams’ bill would provide additional flexibility for schools, including the option to opt out of the system.
House lawmakers want to give families with autistic children a helping hand. They voted Tuesday to continue supporting a few programs that have shown success in Utah.
Republican Representative Rhonda Menlove says a constituent call a few years ago triggered her interest in autism programs. She told her House colleagues that she picked up the phone one day and heard a screaming child in the background as the sobbing mother pleaded for help.
The Salt Lake City School Board plans to discuss tonight how to move forward with an outside investigation into the seizure of more than 30 school lunches from Uintah Elementary School. The decision comes as the district’s human resources department continues its ongoing probe into the incident.
The University of Utah College of Engineering marks National Engineering Week boasting a doubling of the number of engineering graduates since 1999. 368 engineering and computer science degrees were issued that year by the U. Then Governor Mike Leavitt challenged the state’s higher education system with the 2000 Engineering Initiative. 777 total degrees were issued in 2013. Dean of the College Richard Brown says the result has been a reverse of the so called brain drain of 30 years ago.
A $6.6 million dollar renovation is planned for the Jon M. Huntsman Center. Crews will begin work as soon as the Ute basketball season is over so the project can be completed before the commencement season starts. Shireen Ghorbani of University Facilities Management says the sound baffle known as “the cloud” is going away.
“And then above in that space in the center will be a grid system that can hang curtains to break up the space in different ways,” says Ghorbani.
She says the project fills the long-time need for medium sized spaces on campus.
House Speaker Becky Lockhart only needed to look at her own children to see kids and electronic devices go together naturally. The insight has inspired her new initiative to transform Utah’s public schools.
Lockhart says parents and teachers need to catch up to children when it comes to technology. That’s what prompted her Public Education Modernization Act. It would put electronic devices into the hands of all 620,000 students in Utah’s schools. Lockhart’s asking for up to $300 million to make her vision a reality.
What is Salt Lake City going to look like in 2050 with double the population predicted along the Wasatch Front? The University of Utah’s Department of City and Metropolitan Planning hosted the 4th Annual Mayor’s Symposium Thursday. Participants worked on that population question with the theme Mountain Urbanism, Mountain Modernism. Nan Ellin is the chair of the department. She says the intent of the event is to catalyze the conversation about how to build harmoniously in the mountain landscape.
The idea behind House Bill 96 is to help preschoolers prepare for the classroom -- through at-home programs as well as pre-K programs. The bill is headed to the Senate after passing the House on Tuesday.
The Utah House threw its support behind new results-based programs to boost early-childhood education. It’s a concept backed by leaders of both parties.
Republican Rep. Greg Hughes of Draper says all Utahns have a stake in making sure that all children get a good start at school – even before they’re in kindergarten. His bill calls for investors to foot the bill for expanding early education programs like those in the Park City and Granite School districts. Hughes says the $5 million program will provide opportunities for disadvantaged children
The riderless testing phase of the new all electric bus at the University of Utah is now complete. Alma Allred, the Executive Director of Commuter Services, says they’ll start shuttling riders for the next testing phase as soon as they get approval to release the federal grant money.
Chocolate: The Exhibition officially opens Saturday at the Natural History Museum of Utah. Sarah George is the executive director of the museum. She says the exhibition gives visitors a good sense of the botany, culture, and history of the cacao that date back to the Olmec people of the Mexican Gulf Coast.
The Westminster College community will be watching the opening ceremonies in Sochi with extra pride this year. The liberal arts school in Salt Lake City has more students competing in the 2014 Winter Olympics than any other U.S. college or university.
In all, there are 23 skiers and snowboarders in Sochi right now who are working simultaneously towards a degree at Westminster College. Deb Vickery is their academic advisor on campus.
Proposed legislation could give Utah teachers more days to train and prepare at no additional cost to taxpayers –but it would mean fewer days in the classroom with students. Members of the Senate Education Committee voted unanimously on Tuesday to advance the bill.
Senate Bill 103, sponsored by Republican Senator Aaron Osmond would give local school districts the flexibility to swap regular instruction days for teacher professional development days.
A spokesperson for Salt Lake City School District says Uintah Elementary School made a mistake by taking away the lunches of students who owed money. Now state lawmakers say they want to get to the bottom of it.
District Spokesman Jason Olsen says on Tuesday cafeteria workers at Uintah Elementary School threw away the lunches of about 32 students whose lunch accounts were in the negative. Those students were instead given a partial lunch of fruit and milk.
Utah Fourth Graders are all improving their reading scores, but child advocacy group Voices for Utah Children notes that over the past decade, fourth graders who come from low-income families have not improved as quickly as their peers.
According to a report released Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, from 2003 to 2013 the gap between reading scores from low income children and upper income children increased by 22 percent – meaning kids from higher income households are improving at a faster rate.
Governor Gary Herbert has appointed state school board member Tami Pyfer as his new education advisor. The Governor’s spokesman Marty Carpenter says Pyfer brings in a very broad-scoped education experience from administrator to parent volunteer in public and private classrooms.
Marchers young and old prepare to walk in celebration of Martin Luther King Day. They walked south from Westminster College on 1300 East. They then headed into the business district of the area before meeting in the Gore School of Business Auditorium for jazz music and speeches.
A small crowd of about 150 Westminster College students, faculty, and families from the neighborhood celebrated the legacy of Martin Luther King Junior today Monday. They marched through central Sugarhouse. Luciano Marzulli is the director of Diversity Student Affairs and Services at Westminster. He says the legacy of Dr. King should be celebrated because there’s still a lot of work to be done.
Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton spoke at the University of Utah today as part of its Martin Luther King celebration week. Fulton called on all Utahns to stand up against racism and injustice in their communities.
A Republican State lawmaker from Bountiful wants to change the way state school board members in Utah are elected to office, and he hopes to leave politics out of the equation.
Right now, a seven-member committee appointed by the Governor is responsible for vetting state school board candidates. That group sends it’s nominations to the governor who then selects two candidates for each position. House Bill 59, sponsored by State Representative Jim Nielson would get rid of that committee and the governor’s role in process.