"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Teachers in Utah Take Action to Save Public Education

From the Salt Lake City ABC affiliate:
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Some of Utah's best teachers are taking to the streets. They’ve launched a state-wide campaign to fight the voucher law that will be on November's ballot. If the proposed law is passed, millions of dollars will go towards helping families that want to send their kids to private school.

Members of “Utahns for Public Schools” are against the proposed voucher law, and with a big yellow school bus, they're traveling all over the state to tell us why. Spokesperson Lisa Johnson says, “What we're saying today is we're on the move to protect public schools.”

These advocates are claiming that the law is fundamentally flawed. They say it will not help the majority of Utah families. These advocates say the two major problems with the proposal are accountability and accessibility. They say unaccountable voucher schools may hire teachers who are not certified, and don’t have to meet the same course work and attendance standards as public schools.

In terms of accessibility, they say vouchers will not help the majority of Utah families. More than half of Utah’s counties do not have private schools at all. Using hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars for the voucher program is another concern.

Johnson says, “When we have these many problems, that much money, and so few people benefiting we just think overall this is not a good deal for Utah students and Utah taxpayers.”

Instead, these educators believe the money should be used to invest in public schools where the majority of Utah students go. . . .

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