Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Coalition formed to push Utah education reforms
Labor » Goal is to create a workforce to support larger technology sector.
First Published Sep 06 2012 07:42 pm • Last Updated Dec 25 2012 11:31 pm

Business leaders and government officials on Thursday announced formation of a joint effort to create a detailed plan for improving education in Utah and building a coalition that will push the changes through the Utah Legislature.

The initiative is aimed at improving science, technology, engineering and math education with the goal of creating a workforce that will make the Wasatch Front into one of the top areas of the nation for technology companies and the good-paying jobs that they bring.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Utah has the lowest per-pupil spending on K-12 education in the nation, and Chet Linton, CEO and president of the School Improvement Network of Midvale, said part of the discussions will be about adding additional resources to the system.

"Resources usually means we need funding or we need tools or we need the things to get us there," he said. "One of the challenges I’ve found is we’ve been so segregated in how we talk about things. Everybody is in their own silo."

Gov. Gary Herbert helped to announce the group that will be led by Stan Lockhart, public affairs director for IM Flash Technologies, one of the state’s top-tier high-tech companies. Pointing to technology jobs in the state that are going unfilled for lack of workers with the right education and skills, Herbert said creating a bigger highly educated workforce was "a necessity."

"Businesses are going to go where there’s talent," he said.

The coalition is the outgrowth of Prosperity 2020, a business-led movement to support reforms and greater investment in education. The group bills itself as "the largest coalition of business leaders ever assembled to improve Utah’s educational outcomes."

State education and economic development officials were on hand for the launch of the effort Thursday.

Lockhart said the coalition has no set agenda and the process of creating a plan to improve education will be open to anyone who wants to participate, including the state’s teacher unions.

"There’s ample opportunity to give feedback, and we sincerely want to find the best practices that can give our children the best improvements possible," he said.

story continues below
story continues below

The formation of a detailed plan and funding may take a year or two, said Lockhart, with participants expecting to build a political coalition that will then help push it through the Legislature.

Linton choked up when he mentioned that teachers will be one of the keys to the success of the eventual reform program.

"We need to help them be effective," he said. "If we’re going to do this, policymakers, this is on your shoulders and we’ve got the business world in this state and other places saying, ‘Let’s do this.’ "


Twitter: @TomHarveySltrib

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.