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SALT LAKE CITY — As thousands of Utah students head back to school, teachers have prepared their lesson plans. But our state lacks any kind of long-term or short-term education plan.
Thousands of new students are added to our schools each fall, but Utah has no growth plan to accommodate them. Utah is slipping behind other states in academic gains, but we have no plan to improve achievement scores or rankings.
Forbes recently ranked Provo, Salt Lake City and Ogden as #3, #8 and #11 on the list of best places for business and careers. Forbes ranked those same cities 36th, 60th and 96th for education ranking. Clearly, a disparity exists.
State leaders have seen the need for long-term planning in other areas that are economic drivers, such as transportation, growth and clean air. Why not education?
Fortunately, an effort is underway to build the framework for a long-term, comprehensive education plan. A coalition of groups like Education First, Prosperity 2020, legislative task force members, and education leaders hope to have a plan to propose to lawmakers in the next legislative session.
KSL hopes this is the year that lawmakers prioritize education as the key to our economic future, and adopt a plan that helps us achieve goals and find dependable funding sources. We can't afford to have education be our weak link.
Darrell K. Brown is the president of Bonneville International and the KSL broadcast group.