Education

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.

The Utah State Board of Regents has just approved a new Center for Mining Safety and Health Excellence at the University of Utah. The formation of the center goes back to 2008 after the fatal Crandall Canyon accident in eastern Utah. Six miners and three rescue workers were killed in the 2007 disaster. Within a year, the Utah Mine Safety Commission under former Governor John Huntsman Jr. recommended creating an endowed chair in mine safety. Associate professor Tom Hethmon is the director of the new center at the U and is the founding chair.

While thousands celebrated their heritage today by commemorating the entry of Brigham Young and the first group of Mormon pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley in 1847, other’s gathered to celebrate a culture that existed in Utah long before the Mormon settlers.  

Officials from the Wasatch School District decided to uphold a 2013 budget plan Thursday night despite a call from a group to cut it by $5 million dollars.

Education experts across the country are meeting with education officials in Utah this week to discuss strategies for improving schools within the framework of what is called the common core curriculum.

Peter Cooke
Dan Bammes

The Democratic candidate for governor of Utah is promising to increase the share of Utah's state revenue spent on public schools, even if he has to change the state constitution to do it.

Ray Howze

Twenty three female inmates in the Timpanogos Correctional Facility were honored for completing substance abuse treatment Tuesday with a graduation ceremony.

The Excell program provides a way for female offenders with a history of substance abuse to better prepare themselves upon release from the Utah Department of Corrections. Greg Hendrix is the program’s director. He says the graduation days are some of the most rewarding to him and his employees.

Andrea Smardon

Utah Lawmakers were able to find the funds necessary to fill a $25 million gap in Utah’s education budget that officials failed to catch during the 2012 legislative session. The House and Senate voted unanimously, during a special session of the legislature Wednesday to approve adjustments to next year’s budget.

Chad Griffin is brand new on the job as president of the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization.  And his very first stop is Utah.  Griffin says there’s a reason for that.

“It’s a state that does represent some fairly depressing numbers as it relates to how LGBT people are treated, but it’s also a state that represents some real hope,” said Griffin.

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