Letter: Utah House District 23 race: A vote for Jeff Howell is a vote for your children’s education

“Children are our future.” As public education leaders, not only have we heard those words countless times, but we wholeheartedly believe them. And we believe that the best way to invest in those futures is by investing in public education.

Increasing the quality of Utah’s public schools is priority number one for Jeff Howell, Democratic candidate for House District 23 seat in the Utah Legislature, which is why the Utah Education Association, the Salt Lake Education Association, and we, as education leaders, endorse him. Education has the potential to break barriers, remove obstacles to opportunity, and make education in Utah more equitable. The way to fully tap into that potential is by providing quality education to every student. And the way to provide that quality education is by investing in the public school system.

Utah spends $4,443 per student per year and receives $922 per student from the federal government, which is the lowest amount of any state. Higher spending per student often correlates with better educational outcomes for students, and because 97% of our families send their children to our public schools, 97% of our resources should go there as well. This is particularly true in Salt Lake District where we have diverse students and families with dramatically diverse needs.

Howell cares deeply about amplifying the Salt Lake City School District’s “Strategic Plan for Student Achievement,” which aims to have 80% of K-3 students reading on grade level by 2029. Education is the key to empowering the next generation. Howell understands this, and that’s why we believe he is the best representative for House District 23. He would be the strongest voice to advocate for students, families, and teachers.

Carol Lear, Utah State Board of Education, District 6; Carol Spackman Moss, Utah State House of Representatives, District 34; Mohamad Baayd, Salt Lake City School Board, District 5; Rebekah Cummings, Utah Library Association, Advocacy co-chair; Public Education Parent leaders in House District 23: Angelina Pace, Bonneville Elementary; Kim Caine, Indian Hills Elementary; Sarah Lowe, Uintah Elementary; Emily Waltman, Heather Hayes, Clayton Middle School

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