As summer comes to an end and cooler weather approaches, our focus switches from sun-filled actives to another new school year, already under way.
A top priority of the Utah House Majority continues to be the education of our young people. We believe that more local control leads to better outcomes. Parents know their children better than anyone else, and teachers have an intimate knowledge of their students and unique learning styles and needs within the classroom. Teachers must have the freedom to make the necessary adjustments that allow them to do their jobs most effectively.
One-size-fits-all programs are seldom effective in any area, especially when training young minds. Teachers and parents, those closest to the children, are most able to recognize and understand individual needs and should have the flexibility to provide workable solutions to meet those needs. The education system here in Utah was designed for the Legislature and the school districts to work together as partners, in doing what is best for the children of the state.
In 2015, the Utah House of Representatives passed a major piece of legislation, S.B. 97 Property Tax Equalization Amendments, which allowed for the equalization of public education dollars throughout the state. Districts with a lower tax base would be brought in line with higher property tax base districts so that students, wherever they might go to school, would be treated more fairly with regard to funding. Just this past session, S.B. 38 School Funding Amendments passed the Legislature to expand grade-level weighting and include charter schools students in the pursuit of greater funding equity.
All students ought to have an equal opportunity to achieve success. We are committed to continuing our work with education leaders, stakeholders, teachers and parents to improve our education system, to make technology a central part of the educational experience and implement innovative solutions that will enable our students to learn more efficiently and better prepare them for the future.