Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Yes this is another post about the school districts and deficit, but education is something I feel very passionate about. It is an area where I feel I and many people can make a difference.

For Utah residents, if you haven't heard, there is a bill (HB295) which would allow for district's capital funds which were previously reserved only for building and maintenance, to be diverted to pay off deficits for two years if districts so choose. According to Barry Newbold, the district would need $12.5 million in order to avoid class size increases and teacher layoffs. HB295 could contribute $5 to $10 million dollars towards this amount depending on how much the board decides to use. This would eliminate the need for larger class sizes and therefore teacher layoffs this year. If an economic turnaround is in the works, it could possibly eliminate the need for property tax increase. If Jordan is not your district and you live in Utah, this also gives your district the opportunity to divert funds to their individual deficits as well.

In any case it would allow the board two years to gather information for a better long term budget solution.

This seems like a no-brainer, but I really don't know what the downsides would be. Does anyone else know if this is a hidden gotcha?

If you read this and feel that it would be a good solution please *look up and contact your representative.

*I know people have asked me to do this in the past for various reasons and I never did it out of laziness or feigned incompetence, but it's actually very simple. The link is a map, you select your city and presto! The name and info pop up like a rabbit out of a hat! After I emailed my rep, Carl Wimmer, he responded in an hour. I also learned he's an avid facebooker and answers all questions posted on his wall daily. Oh the convenience of modern technology.

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Jethro said...

Melinda, I love reading your thoughts on this. The biggest problem with HB295 is that administrators could take money away from other programs that need the money, too. Textbooks, technology, special ed aides, and other areas could lose money they need to stay afloat. So it doesn't seem like a big deal compared to class size increases, but it can still affect the quality of education. For example, at Midvale, most of the teachers were using 5-10 year old desktops, with antiquated operating systems and programs. No clickers, no projectors, no audio enhancement. I do like the idea of principals and school districts having more autonomy with their money, though.

holtkamp said...

yes thank you for your insights mel.i do hope this passes and in someway can help jordan district even if it's not the ultimate solution. i didn't know wimmer was your rep...ha, ha! :)

Wiwi Kalawi said...

Oh man...Melinda, did you know your representative, Carl Wimmer scares me? He's the head of the Patrick Henry Caucus, that is causing a lot of the problems facing education. That's the same group that wants to blow $3 million from the education trust fund to fight the Feds. over coal mining in southern Utah.