Saturday, August 14, 2010

Federal stimulus funds for teachers may face a fight in Utah

By Joseph M. Dougherty

Deseret News
Published: Friday, Aug. 13, 2010 5:31 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — When President Barack Obama signed an education jobs bill into law Tuesday, the clock started ticking.

The bill provides $10 billion in funding to the states for teacher or school staff salaries. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has until Sept. 9 to apply for $101 million designated as Utah's portion.

If he applies for the funding, a special session of the Utah Legislature would be required because the dollar amount is higher than $10 million.

The State Office of Education estimates 1,400 to 1,500 school employees' jobs could be saved. Federal estimates put that number as high as 1,800 jobs.

Lost jobs generally mean more students per classroom.

Herbert said Wednesday that he is committed to reducing classroom size in Utah, because it is critical to the success of schoolchildren and the future of the state.

"This may provide an opportunity where we can do something meaningful to address that challenge," he said.

But it will take some study to see if accepting the money is the right thing to do, Herbert said, adding that he has meetings with legislative and education leaders planned for early in the coming week to consider "the ways to best seize this opportunity."


Moar at link



Ah. How things have changed in Utah. When I was in the public school system there, Utah was proud to have the highest per capita expenditure on education in the country.

Now it ranks dead last ~~
Spending per Pupil and Average Teacher Salaries in Selected States, 1993-1994
Oklahoma $3,889 46 $26,749
Alabama $3,815 47 $28,705
Arkansas $3,657 48 $27,873
Mississippi $3,297 49 $25,235
Utah $3,203 50 $28,056
(source link: )

The ranking was the same in 2006. . . .

The "so called strings" attached are that IF a state accepts the money, it is not allowed to lower its OWN funding of education. Seems fair to me. If you give money to someone to keep their family from starving, then they're not allowed to take their own food money for the kids and go gambling.


hannah said...

While I think it's a bad idea to look for value in dollars spent, I've always approved of federal revenue sharing for public services, since it supports people's penchant for relocating themselves. Both the new and old community are better off if they don't have to make radical adjustments in response.
Also, the Administration's effort to pour cash into the economy is welcome. Now, if we can just figure out how to keep the hoarders of Wall Street from siphoning off a chunk of each dollar and sequestering it in their vaults.

listener said...

When we home schooled we learned that the local school would have gotten an additional $5000 to $7000 per year per child for each of our children if we sent them there. We spent about $1000 per child to educate them at home. Nonetheless we always paid our property taxes to help the other children in town attend school, and we are advocates for good teacher salaries and needed supplies, because we remembered our own schooling (which included a long teacher strike during our senior year of high school. The teachers were the lowest paid in the state. But the weren't striking for salary increases. They were striking because there was only ONE microscope in the whole school and the town's people didn't care.

listener said...

Gosh, sorry for my redundancy followed by a tense change! LOL! I guess I'm more tired than I thought! But you get the idear. ;-)

puddle said...

I was just *stunned* at how low Utah had fallen. They're thinking right now of making senior year optional. . . . as if that's a better solution than taking Federal $. Seems like the state of my birth has simply gone nuts. . . .