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.
Utah Governor Gary Herbert joined statewide education officials Wednesday for a discussion about the state of public education.
Governor Gary Herbert says in the last two years, the state has made strides in funding public education. However he says because of a growing student population Utah continues to claim the title for lowest per-pupil spending and has the largest class sizes in the nation. In addition the high school dropout rate is 19 percent.
Despite few resources, Herbert says there is work to be done.
The Utah Foundation’s annual meeting Thursday deals with two traditionally conflicting issues facing Utahns, education and transportation. The foundation organizes the Utah Priorities Project along with the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah. Stephen Kroes , the president of the Utah Foundation says conflicts between education and transportation going forward need to end.
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.
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.
Utah College students who might be dragging their feet in completing their degrees have a new incentive from Utah’s Higher Education officials to hunker down and graduate sooner: higher fees. The Utah State Board of Regents on Friday tightened the state’s policy on excess credit hours.
College students in Utah’s public education system already pay some additional tuition and fees if they accumulate credit hours beyond a certain threshold. But the board of regents decided on Friday to reduce that threshold and allow schools to charge students double tuition if they exceed it.
Utah spends less per student in its public schools than any other state. Not just a little less – 15% less than Idaho, the next on the list. Utah’s been at the bottom since 1988.
There are several reasons for that last-place ranking, but the most important is the high ratio of children to adults in Utah – 20-percent more kids as a proportion of the population than most other states.