Welcome to Utahns for Public Schools
Achieving the goal of quality public education for every child in Utah will require every one of us to take action. Take the time to learn, vote and act on behalf of our children's future. Understand key issues and decisions that impact Utah's education system, and make quality education a priority. Together, we can give kids a better education.
2015 Utah Legislative Updates
School Board Election Process
Support Direct, Non-partisan Elections for School Boards
In recent weeks, Judge Clark Waddoups ruled in federal court that the State Board of Education selection process used for the past 10 years is unconstitutional.
There are many, many reasons not to pass a partisan school board bill. No one political party captures all of the issues in public education nor has all the remedies for its many challenges. Public education should not be restricted by operating inside of the parameters of a political party or of its party leader(s). Partisan politics, even well-intended, tends to be uneven and subject to the whims of lawmakers. Schools should not have to brace for new administrations or new majorities or new representatives each election cycle. Children and teachers need continuity and stability, even as they work to innovate and improve. Local leadership provides local accessibility to all of Utah’s citizens. Let’s not have school board members become “beholden” to politicians; let’s keep them accountable to their neighbors and local communities.
The state Parent Teacher Association (PTA), with its thousands of parent and teacher members across Utah, advocates for children; the Utah School Boards Association (USBA), which represents parents and community leaders who serve as local school board members; and the Utah Education Association (UEA), which represents thousands of teachers in our classrooms, all strongly encourage legislators to enact direct, nonpartisan elections. ---> Read More
Utahns for Public Schools believes that good public policy is best created in the context of an open, transparent process, where public participation is encouraged, and elected officials are held to high ethical standards.
2014 Count My Vote SB54 Compromise Uncertain
During the 2014 legislative session, Utah legislators passed SB54 as a compromise to the citizens’ “Count My Vote” Initiative. The Initiative was launched as an effort to increase voter participation and broaden engagement in Utah elections by implementing a direct primary where each and every voter gets to cast his or her own vote, replacing the caucus delegate system where that opportunity was delegated to someone else. The 2014 compromise bill SB54 passed by the legislature (Rep. votes, Sen. votes) and signed into law by Governor Herbert:
Preserved Utah’s caucus-convention system, but also allows an alternative path to the primary ballot if a candidate gathers enough signatures
Permits unaffiliated voters to vote in a parties primary elections
Allows absentee voting on caucus election night, with a 2-day window for the voting to take place
Raises the threshold for avoiding a primary election to at least 65% of the delegate vote at convention. (a 5% increase)
Even though a compromise was struck between the Utah Legislature and Initiative supporters last year, certain legislators are proposing changing the law and reneging on the deal.
2015 bills going back on the agreed upon compromise.
|SB0043||Jenkins, S.||Closed Primary Amendments|
|SJR002||Jenkins, S.||Proposal to Amend Utah Constitution -- Rights of Political Parties|
The School Funding and Tax Policy Series Reports I-IV issued by Utahns for Public Schools (UTPS) highlights legislative policy changes that are responsible for Utah’s decline in Public Education funding effort. In addition, it is a warning that if these trends persist, they will continue to significantly limit funding to Public Education in the future. These research reports find that systemic, if not systematic, changes have occurred in the past decade that, if reversed, would bring more than a $1 billion in revenue back into Public Education. View reports...
What's going on in your school?
On this website, educators, parents and policymakers from all across the state are sharing what's already working in public schools—and sparking a conversation about how to make it work for children in every school. Join the conversation!
This site is your resource for information on education issues facing the state of Utah. We hope you will visit often and join our efforts to strengthen public schools and improve education for all Utah students.