Letter: Legislators' actions say they don't value schoolchildren

Published December 20, 2013 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A maxim for understanding political behavior is: Don't listen to what politicians say, look at what they do.

Almost every Republican state legislator talks a great game in how they highly value and prioritize public and higher education. But their actions have clearly been in the opposite direction.

In 2006 they acted to cut the state income tax from 7 percent to 5 percent. That is a 28 percent cut in a major revenue source for education. As they "bled the education beast," they acted to establish vouchers for private schools. When the public overrode the Legislature with a referendum to repeal the voucher system, the Legislature acted to punish the people by passing a law to make future referendums virtually impossible.

All of the actions of this one-party Legislature clearly show a desire to keep Utah firmly entrenched in last place in the nation in per-pupil funding. Sadly, parents and school supporters can expect no positive actions with the current power brokers who are entrenched in our state government. Our young people deserve more.

Byron Lund