Lawmakers make early education budget recommendations   01/31/2011
(Salt Lake Tribune) The Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee was tasked with recommending ways to cut education by 7 percent — $166 million — though that figure very likely will change as the legislative session progresses. A majority of the committee voted to recommend taking most of that money from the “flexible allocation” program, which would give districts discretion in deciding how to absorb cuts.

Editorial: Usurping control - Capitol Hill takeover of education  01/31/2011
(Salt Lake Tribune) The most blatant example of the legislative branch overreaching its authority is a constitutional amendment proposed by Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan. Putting the virtues of local control aside, he wants the education system, specifically set up as a separate entity in the Utah Constitution, to be put under direct control of the Legislature.

Bill allows school districts to hire non-educators as superintendents without state approval  01/31/2011
(Deseret News) Non-educators applying to for a job as a school superintendent would not have to hold an administrative license issued by the State School Board according to a bill supported by the state Senate.

Advocates of school libraries push for state funding  01/30/2011
(Standard-Examiner) "The school library supports the curriculum," said Sharly Smith, who can be found on Capitol Hill most days as she volunteers her time to advocate for school libraries.

Herbert Opposes Proposed School Board Changes  01/29/2011
(KCPW News) Governor Gary Herbert is indicating he doesn’t like two proposed constitutional amendments to change how Utah’s public schools are managed. The first one, sponsored by Republican Senator Chris Buttars, would make the state school board accountable to any laws passed by the Utah Legislature.

UEA Editorial: Effective teacher evaluation programs can improve schools  01/29/2011
Some have vilified teacher associations as protectors of bad teachers. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the Utah Education Association and its local affiliates in each Utah school district are constantly seeking ways to improve teacher effectiveness and ensure a quality teacher in every classroom.

Utah educators feeling tense vibe from lawmakers  01/28/2011
(Deseret News) A meeting of the Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee got tense Thursday when legislators weren't satisfied with recommendations from the State Board of Education on where to cut costs. "I believe that if we don't get more specific recommendations, then they have absolutely no right to complain when the decisions are made," said Sen. Mark Madsen, R-Lehi. "If you choose not to do that, then after the fact, I'll thank you to shut up about it."

Requirements for School Superintendents May Change  01/28/2011
(KCPW) The Jordan School District is hiring a new superintendent, and some school board members, along with some Utah lawmakers, want anyone who is qualified, despite their education experience, to apply. As KCPW’s Jessica Gail reports, that sparked an interesting debate in the legislature yesterday: who should be deciding who is really best suited to watch over Utah’s schools?

Governor not thrilled with proposals to shift school control  01/28/2011
(Salt Lake Tribune) “I’m not too excited about the Legislature becoming the school board,” Herbert said about the proposed resolution, SJR1. “I think that’s just a super school board of 104 personalities.”

Early education budget recommendations expected Monday   01/28/2011
(Salt Lake Tribune) The Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee is tasked with suggesting possible ways to cut education by up to 7 percent next school year, though that’s a figure that very likely will change as the legislative session progresses. Several lawmakers referred to the task of recommending where to cut 7 percent as only a “budget exercise.” A 7 percent cut would equal about $166 million.

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