Activists are calling on Governor Gary Herbert to halt Utah’s efforts to seize control of federal land in the state. Educators, parents and students gathered at Liberty Park this morning to ask state lawmakers to find realistic solutions to funding education and stop taking aim at public lands.  

Ethan Lake is a senior at West High School in Salt Lake City. He says the state is blessed with a beautiful natural environment.

The Salt Lake City School Board considers a tax increase, the Federal Government will now manage Utah’s high-risk health pool, and Utah’s congressional delegation feels confident about the future of Hill Air Force Base.

Governor Gary Herbert ceremonially signed a package of student safety bills this morning at Cyprus High School in Magna. He also spoke to students about preventing suicide among kids in Utah. 

The new laws are aimed at preventing youth suicide, bullying and teen traffic accidents caused by distracted driving. But the occasion was mostly focused on suicide, which according to the Utah Department of Health is the second leading cause of death among Utah youth and young adults.

Utah lawmakers look into ways to encourage people to buy long-term care insurance, a state Senator suggests that the Attorney General become an appointed position, and the Utah Republican Party considers pushing for the elimination of the Common Core academic standards.

A new charter school in Utah wants to equip students in kindergarten through ninth grade with a solid foundation in business.

Students' daily lessons are peppered with concepts like sales and marketing, finance and entrepreneurship, says first-grade teacher Tammy Hill. "And that plays into leadership and improved math skills. And finance plays into every part of their lives."

Senator Mike Lee speaks out against the common core education standards, the opening of Willard Bay state park could be delayed even more, and animal rights activists celebrate a victory in a case dealing with Utah’s so called “ag-gag” law.

The Navajo Nation now has the authority to access the assessment data of Navajo students throughout Utah.  Navajo representatives joined state education officials this morning to sign a memorandum of understanding that will help the two entities cooperate in sharing the data. 

For years federal privacy laws barred Navajo Nation education officials from accessing student-specific achievement data because it wasn’t considered a state agency. But recent changes to the law have made tribal education agencies eligible.  

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints holds its annual general conference, a group of LDS women seek the priesthood, and the Utah State Office of Education questions what type of student data should be public.

The Utah State Office of Education is seeking the Attorney General’s opinion on what type of student data should be published. The board is asking the Attorney General to reconcile two state statutes they say cause the confusion. But not everyone believes a conflict exists.

Some argue classroom-level testing data allows the public to see how teachers perform. While others say the numbers could be read out of context. 

Governor Herbert says he’s close to a decision about the Snake Valley water agreement, the Utah Foundation addresses the conflict between education and transportation, and the Department of Corrections gets a new executive director.

Utah students and families battle the rising cost of higher education, a bill to fund preschool programs for at-risk children fails in the Utah Senate, and Representative Jim Matheson introduces legislation to end straight ticket voting.

Every year thousands of Utahns wonder how they’re going to pay for college. Whether they’re high school seniors, returning members of the military or single moms and dads looking for a new opportunity, the financial obligations that come with a college degree are usually the biggest obstacle. KUER explores the unique struggles of Utah students to overcome the escalating cost of college. It’s part of our look this week at The Future of Higher Education.

Brian Grimmett / KUER

A controversial bill that would help create preschool programs for at-risk children failed in the Utah Senate today.

Bob Nelson

A bill that would require schools to notify the parents of children who are being bullied or who have threatened suicide has passed out of the Utah Senate today. Sen. Luz Robles, D-Salt Lake says SB184 is aimed at helping parents share responsibility with the schools and allow them to be more engaged in what happens with their children.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert promotes Prosperity 2020 goals in Washington, D.C., Utah Democrats call for the protection of Utah’s greater canyonlands, and the Division of Air Quality is targeting the use of toxic consumer cleaning products.

A Utah legislator tries to give more control to individual schools, speed limits on I-15 and I-80 could be getting higher, and Senator Orrin Hatch proposes a high-skilled immigration bill.

Republican Senator Howard Stephenson wants local schools to have more control over where they spend their money. The Draper lawmaker is sponsoring a bill that would require school districts distribute education dollars directly to schools; giving principals control over how it’s spent. But state education leaders say there are problems with the measure. 

Brian Grimmett

Democratic Congressman Jim Matheson made a visit to the legislature Thursday where he shared a list of things that he believes will help economic development.

He says the first task in encouraging economic development is eliminating uncertainty.

“You can’t eliminate all uncertainty of course but, when public policy multiplies the amount of uncertainty that’s out there, for the private sector, for the public sector, that’s a burden,” he says.

Utah Democrats call for increased education funding, the Utah House passes a bill that makes legislator pay more transparent, and Governor Gary Herbert declares today Fred Korematsu day.

Brian Grimmett

Newly elected Utah Senate President Wayne Neiderhauser opened the 2013 Legislative session by urging senators to be fiscally responsible.

In his opening remarks Senate President Wayne Neiderhauser warned his fellow senators to be careful not to believe they can create money out of thin air as they go about tackling some of Utah’s tough budget issues. He says he hopes to see legislators pass laws that work in the long term, especially when it comes to education funding.

Governor Gary Herbert addresses air quality, guns, and the allegations brought against Utah Attorney General John Swallow in his monthly news conference, Utahns say they are willing to pay more taxes for better education, and the Reverend Jesse Jackson speaks at the University of Utah.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar steps down, the Utah Supreme Court puts a hold on the reunion of Terry Achane and his 2-year-old daughter, and Utah women continue to trail their male counterparts in college graduation rates.

Utah’s Attorney General calls for an investigation into the bribery allegations brought against him, KUER’s Bob Nelson goes shrimping on the Great Salt Lake, and Utah schools see the lowest participation in the free breakfast program in the nation.

Ad Firm Suggests Names for Dixie State College

Jan 10, 2013

The company Dixie State College enlisted to come up with a new name for the school unveiled a list of suggestions to an eager crowd last night in St. George. Sorenson Advertising spent three months doing interviews and assembling focus groups with students, faculty, alumni and members of the community. Dixie State College is positioning itself to gain university status this year. 

Andrea Smardon

The University of Utah iSTAR program is helping give children who have an Autism Spectrum Disorder a better quality life through the use of technology.

The iSTAR program uses a free 3D design application called SketchUp to help kids with a high functioning form of the Autism Spectrum Disorder develop better social and career skills. iSTAR project director Cheryl Wright says the results they’ve seen so far are encouraging.

Utah Schools Will Feel Impact of "Fiscal Cliff"

Dec 28, 2012

Utah schools have millions of dollars in federal funding at stake if congress fails to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff” by early next week. The “fiscal cliff” is a combination of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts that will go into effect at the first of the year if federal lawmakers and the president cannot come to an agreement on next year’s budget. But most schools in Utah would have some time to prepare for big cuts.

In response to almost 200 teachers participating in a free concealed carry course offered on Thursday, Republican Congressman-elect Christ Stewart says he’s for the idea, as long as the individual and school district are on board.

Stewart says when he gets to congress he’s going to do what he can to protect 2nd amendment rights. And while he doesn’t think all teachers should have to carry a gun, he says it’s not necessarily a bad idea.

Brian Grimmett

Kara Arnold, or as she is better known, Miss Utah, will head to Las Vegas next week to compete for a chance to become Miss America. But before she hits the bright lights of the Vegas Strip she spent the past year traveling across Utah to promote the importance of science education.

U.S. Census Bureau

Child Poverty in Utah is on the rise according to the latest information released by the U.S. Census Bureau today.

The Granite school district police department has pressed charges against an 11-year-old Kearns boy who brought a gun to school yesterday. The charges include one count of possession of a firearm and three counts of aggravated assault. Granite school district spokesman Ben Horsley says the gun was found in the boys backpack after two of his fellow students reported it to their teacher. The boy insists that he brought the gun to school to protect himself from a Connecticut style school shooting. Horsley says while it’s a legitimate concern it’s never an appropriate action.