Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Report: School technology price tag as much as $750 million
Education » Advisory panel says cost of plan is more than double Lockhart’s estimate.

< Previous Page

How to pay? » House budget chairman Mel Brown, R-Coalville, was blunt when asked about where the money for Lockhart’s initiative would come from: "We have no idea."

He said that lawmakers are still waiting for new revenue projections before they know how much they have to spend.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"The biggest issue is the funding, and I don’t think we really know what the funding elements are yet," said Sen. Stuart Adams, R-Layton. "The concept, I think, is extremely sound."

He said it’s well known that Utah has the lowest per-pupil spending in the nation. "One of the solutions is technology," he said. "It’s not the only solution, but it’s one of them."

On Thursday, the Legislature’s public education budget committee recommended allocating a total of $100 million for Lockhart’s initiative — essentially a placeholder until legislative leaders settle on a final number.

The committee debated recommending less, possibly using some of that money instead for a 2 percent boost to per-pupil spending.

But members quickly backed off that idea after the co-chairman, Rep. Brad Last, R-Hurricane, urged the committee to be "realistic" and show support for the proposal.

He said trying to take money from the technology proposal could create confusion and potentially "backfire on us."

"Just look at the landscape and see this is going to happen," Last said of the speaker’s proposal. The committee instead decided to still recommend a 2.5 percent per-pupil spending increase but without tying it to money for Lockhart’s proposal.

School districts could apply to the state board for grants they could use for wireless infrastructure, training or devices, choosing any of the state-certified technology providers.

story continues below
story continues below

"If we’re wanting to achieve a certain vision and go to a certain place, it’s going to take a real effort," said Gibson. "I’m asking my colleagues to buy into a vision of where we’re going to be in 10 years from now, where we’re going to be 15-20 years from now."

State school board members also expressed support for the proposal Thursday.

In fact, it’s one of the board’s priorities for the year, though board chairman David Crandall noted that the board wants to see ongoing money for the proposal come from new revenue for education.

Vice chairman Dave Thomas said board members were involved in the drafting of the bill.

"The possibility to transform the classroom — truly transform it with teachers if they have the appropriate professional development — is amazing," Thomas said Thursday.

He said giving each student a device has been a board priority for the past four years. He said the speaker’s bill includes all the principles needed to make such a program successful.

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.