Education

Granite School District

  A plan to turn the old Granite High School into a movie studio has fallen through and the property could now be sold to a private buyer.  

Originally, the city of South Salt Lake hoped to buy the 27-acre Granite High School property and renovate its historic buildings.  But, two years ago, voters rejected a $25 million bond issue needed to do that by just nine votes.

Democratic State Lawmakers say they’re pleased the legislature passed a budget that fully funded growth in enrollment and boosted per-pupil spending but Utah residents are ready to invest more in public schools.

The final budget provides additional funding for roughly 13,000 new students and increases per pupil spending by 2 percent; enough to help school districts pay for the increased cost of employee benefits, but not enough for teacher pay raises. Lawmakers also appropriated ongoing money for extended-day kindergarten and dual language programs.

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.

Bob Nelson

Lawmakers from separate parties and different chambers are finding synergy in moving anti-bullying and anti-suicide legislation during the session. Democratic Senator Luz Robles and Republican Representative Gage Froerer say when they found out they were working individually on the same thing they decided to team up. Froerer says HB-134 is a statewide effort to make a dent in the epidemic of teen suicides as well as bullying in our schools.

Brian Grimmett

Dixie State College is now one signature away from officially becoming Dixie State University after receiving approval from the Utah state legislature.

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. 

Andrea Smardon

Former Democratic presidential candidate Jesse Jackson was in Salt Lake City today.  The Baptist minister and civil rights activist delivered the keynote address for the University of Utah’s Martin Luther King Jr. Celebrations.   Before his address, Jackson argued that the U would benefit from a more multicultural student body. 

Most Utah voters are willing to raise taxes to pay for public education. That’s according to an annual study gathered by Dan Jones and Associates, the University of Utah Center for Public Policy and Administration and The Exoro group.

The Dixie State College Board of Trustees is meeting today to decide what the school should be called when its status changes from a college to a university this year.  As part of their decision, the trustees will consider a recent controversy over what some say are racial connotations surrounding the name “Dixie” and whether or not the word should remain in the new name. 

Utah Schools Last in Breakfast Program Participation

Jan 15, 2013

Utah has the fewest number of eligible school children eating free and reduced price breakfast each day. According to a new national report released today, Utah served about 34 low-income children breakfast for every 100 that received free or reduced price lunch during the 2011-2012 school year. 

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.

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.

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.

Dan Bammes

Utah's attorney general-elect says he's heartsick about last week's school shooting in Connecticut.  John Swallow tells KUER he's committed to doing everything he can to protect kids in schools, short of turning schools into prisons. 

Swallow says he's already been talking to officials in other states, working on a plan to get together discuss what they can do to address mass shootings and gun violence.  While he says the Constitution needs to be protected, Swallow says they need to take a close look at one area of the law.

Herbert Proposes More Funding for Education

Dec 12, 2012

Utah Governor Gary Herbert’s 2014 budget proposal includes an increase in funding for public education, specifically for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math or STEM efforts. 

Schools to Charge More for Excess Credit Hours

Nov 19, 2012

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.

The University of Utah inaugurated David W. Pershing as its 15th president, Thursday. During his inaugural address Pershing said that enhancing the student experience will be his first priority. He outlined a number of ways he plans on accomplishing this including moving towards a more holistic approach to admissions.

“We’re going to go beyond grades and test scores to incorporate the factors that we know impact college success: Such as integrity, motivation, maturity, resilience, and a respect for cultural and intellectual diversity,” he said.

Democratic Congressman Jim Matheson is once again attacking opponent Mia Love’s proposed budget cuts and this time it’s over special education grants.

State legislators debated the merits of creating training courses for parents on how to teach sex education to their children Wednesday during the Education Interim committee meeting.

State School Superintendent Larry Shumway called on state policy makers to step up and invest in public education Tuesday during his last state of education address. He also warned against partisan politics interfering with public schools.

Shumway urged policy makers to consistently fund enrollment growth, avoid reducing revenue when the economy is strong and invest in technology and teachers. He noted education funding has finally returned to 2008 levels, but with more than 50,000 new students, current spending per pupil is actually less than what it was in 2008.

Business, education, and community leaders discussed the future of digital learning, Tuesday, at Salt Lake City school district’s new Innovations High School.

GOP Congressman Rob Bishop joined more than 200 high school students from his district today at the state capitol for his 8th annual Education Conference. Bishop sponsors the event each year to help students gain a better understanding of state and federal government.

Bishop says the conference is enjoyable for him because it allows him to be a teacher again. The Congressman from the state’s first district taught in Utah public schools for 29 years.

A new policy in the Jordan School District calls for parents to play a larger roll in choosing the plays students can perform. The Jordan School Board voted Tuesday evening to make the change, despite concerns from educators.

This year, $29 million dollars will be spread out amongst Utah schools this year from the School LAND Trust Program.

The School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration manages 3.4 million acres in Utah set aside to help public institutions. The dividends from the use of these lands are distributed through the School LAND Trust Program. Tim Donaldson is a School Children’s Trust Specialist at the Utah State Office of Education. He explained the unique local committee that decides how the funds are spent.

Education officials in Utah plan to study whether or not cursive writing instruction is relevant in public schools today. On Friday, the state school board approved the formation of a committee of teachers and administrators in the state which will examine the issue over the next year.

Westminster College has introduced the only degree program in Utah for educators who wish to use the Montessori learning approach in their classrooms.  The Institute for Montessori Innovation opened its doors last month.

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