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A significant message has been delivered by voters in three Utah school districts, including the state’s two largest: a majority of taxpayers are willing to pay more, when asked, to benefit education!
The margin of approval for a tax increase in both the Granite and Jordan districts was almost three to one. A similar measure passed in the Carbon County School District by a slim 25-vote margin. Regardless, it was approved.
The overall vote results reflect attitudes measured repeatedly in statewide public opinion polls. Among Utahns, education is a priority! If taxpayers can be assured their money will go specifically for education, they’ll accept, even approve higher tax rates.
The vote in the three school districts comes at a time when Utah lawmakers are looking to overhaul the state’s system for educating her children. Indeed, KSL believes creative, workable approaches are needed if Utah is going to cope with the extraordinary growth in student population that is inevitably coming. Even raising taxes cannot be summarily ruled out as an alternative to implementing more crippling budget cuts.
Money, of course, isn’t the only answer. Issues of administrative structure, effectiveness and accountability must also be addressed. But, when it comes to funding Utah’s schools, lawmakers should know their constituents, appear willing to help foot the bill.