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House speaker: Lawmakers won't act on nonpartisan school board bill

Utah education news -

A proposal to keep state school board elections nonpartisan is currently stuck in the House Rules Committee and likely to stay there, House Speaker Greg Hughes, R-Draper, said Monday. Without legislative action, elections for state school board are scheduled to become partisan in 2018, the result of what Hughes called a “hard-earned” compromise approved last year. But after years of debate on the issue, Hughes said the state needs to see its existing law put into effect before looking to make ...

Free teacher licenses and 3% school spending bump in latest budget numbers

Utah education news -

Utah lawmakers are looking to increase per-student education spending by roughly $90 million this year, a 3 percent increase, and end the practice of charging fees for educator licenses. Those budget details were teased out Monday by Rep. Dan McCay, R-Riverton, co-chairman of the Public Education Appropriates Subcommittee. The subcommittee is expected to finalize its budget recommendations Monday afternoon, but McCay said lawmakers are committed to prioritizing the weighted pupil unit, or WPU,... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

'Thug Thursday' draws apology from Utah high school principal

Utah education news -

A day after students dressed up for “Thug Thursday” at a Utah high school, the principal has apologized to parents and students for the “very inappropriate” Spirit Week celebration. This week at Olympus High School, students have been encouraged to dress according to themes, such as “ ’Merica Monday,” “Tropical Tuesday” and “Workout Wednesday.” But Thursday’s event, where students were encouraged to dress like “thugs,” was met with controversy. In a written apology addressed to the Olympus High ...

Panel OKs later school start times

Utah education news -

A debate over the proper start time for Utah’s high schools is headed to the House floor. Members of the House Education Committee voted 8-2 on Thursday in favor of a resolution that encourages high schools to postpone their morning bells until 8:30 am or later. The resolution’s sponsor, Rep. Carol Spackman Moss, D-Holladay, said there is a growing body of research suggesting that teenagers are naturally impeded from waking at early hours. That can lead to inattention in class, she said, and c...

Is proposed tax increase 1% or 17.5%? Depends on what you count, which could affect $750M ballot initiative

Utah education news -

Depending on how Utahns look at the Our Schools Now ballot initiative, their income taxes would go up by seven-eighths of 1 percent, or by 17.5 percent. Both figures are accurate, as Our Schools Now would lift the income tax rate from 5 percent to 5.875 percent — a bump of less than 1 percent. But the practical impact of that change is a 17.5 percent increase in the dollars an income earner owes the state each year. “Seven-eighths of 1 percent, from a marketing perspective, sounds really, reall... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

Utah sex ed needs attention, legislators say, but abstinence angle will continue

Utah education news -

Utah schools will continue to teach an abstinence-based sexual education curriculum after a bill to allow comprehensive instruction was defeated in committee. Despite several Republican lawmakers saying sex education in Utah needs improvement, the House Education Committee voted 12-2 along party lines to reject HB215, sponsored by Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake City. “I’m not ready to go here yet,” said Rep. Eric Hutchings, R-Kearns. “But I’m not ready to stop yet because things are broken.” The c...

Bill to give poor school districts extra money passes first Senate vote

Utah education news -

A proposal to set aside funding for Utah’s poorest school districts earned early Senate approval on Monday. By a preliminary 20-8 vote, Senators advanced SB80, which would capture one-third of annual education spending increases in order to incrementally raise the funding floor for public schools. Bill sponsor Sen. Lincoln Fillmore, R-South Jordan, said the bill is necessary to address the disparity in local property tax revenue, which is used by districts to supplement state dollars. School ... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

Democratic lawmaker says he's 'ashamed' of the 'preposterous' U of U athletics audit

Utah education news -

A Utah senator apologized to the University of Utah and its athletic director, Chris Hill, on Monday, while urging his legislative colleagues to do the same. Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City, made his comments in response to a legislative audit of the University of Utah athletic department, which found relatively minor financial and inventory infractions amid generally positive budgetary practices. Legislative auditors had conducted their investigation professionally, Dabakis said, but their... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

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