Utah to gain $101 million for education


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SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah stands to receive more than $100 million in federal money for education.

President Obama signed an emergency spending bill Tuesday worth $26 billion -- $10 billion of which is allocated for education nationwide. Utah is slated to get about 1 percent of that.

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"I believe it will make it easier for all of our charter schools and school districts to provide great teaching for our Utah kids, and it'll be great support for our outstanding teachers," says Larry Shumway, superintendent of public schools in Utah.

Shumway is looking forward to putting this money to use, especially after all the cuts schools and districts have seen -- such as shortening school years and not giving teachers as many paid preparation days as before.

All of the money given to Utah will go into classrooms and improving quality of education for students next year.

"The statute requires that the funds to be spent for compensation to retain, to recall teachers that have been laid off, or to add new teachers where we could," Shumway says.

Utah's Republican representatives Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz voted against the bill. Over the phone, a representative from Chaffetz's office told KSL News it was because the federal government should not be bailing out states when every state is experiencing hard times, and it's another example of out-of-control spending.

Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson told KSL he voted for bill because it would save over 1,000 education jobs in Utah. He says the bill does not add to the deficit because it is paid for by cuts to other programs, and by closing a foreign tax loophole.

The remaining $16 billion of the emergency spending bill will go toward Medicaid.

E-mail: abutterfield@ksl.com

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Amanda Butterfield

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