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Carter Williams, KSL.com, File

Utah legislative leaders call for ‘comprehensive performance audit’ of public schools

By Marjorie Cortez, KSL | Posted - Aug 21st, 2019 @ 7:01am



SALT LAKE CITY — State legislative leaders on Tuesday called for a “comprehensive performance audit” of Utah’s public education system.

The leaders, meeting as the Legislative Audit Subcommittee, voted unanimously to prioritize the audit, which will examine the best practices to retain teachers, review student performance, look at teacher and administrative compensation and study administrative overhead in district and charter schools.

Senate President Stuart Adams, R-Layton, requested the audit, which was unanimously approved by the subcommittee, which is comprised of Republican and Democratic House and Senate leaders.

“As we look at perhaps some of the opportunities we have, education is over 50-55% of our budget. It’s very important that we know not only administrative costs but the performance of the particular institutions, the performance outcomes,” he said.

Adams continued, “As we look at the different elements that might be evaluated ... the kids and the outcomes is probably one of the most significant things we can evaluate.”

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The call for the audit comes as members of some local school boards have called out state lawmakers for not doing more to fund public education, particularly while the state had a more than $1 billion surplus.

Jordan, Canyons and Davis school boards each conducted truth-in-taxation hearings to increase local property taxes to raise additional education funding, primarily for teacher pay.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sydnee Dickson declined to comment.

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