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The so-called "Omnibus Education Bill" now before the Utah legislature offers a lot to chew on. Perhaps too much! Still, Utah’s public education system could use a good overhaul. Indeed, many of the reforms incorporated in Senate Bill 154 have merit.
The move toward competency-based education is compelling.
A renewed focus on the core curriculum is right on track.
Establishing mechanisms for greater accountability is a vital component for improvement.
As always, though, the devil is in the details.
Where will $30 million come from to fund the measure’s proposed Competency based Education Block Grant Program? Is a tax increase part of the mix? Is it wise to alter licensing standards for teachers? Will certain changes lead to intrusive legislative micro-management of the public schools?
Then there is the huge issue of tuition tax credits, now incorporated into the overall bill. No one can predict with any degree of certainty the impact this controversial form of school choice will have.
Regardless of the concerns, KSL believes the time has come to make significant changes in the way Utah’s public schools operate. With so much to chew on, we trust lawmakers will glean the good from the bad in their quest to do what’s best for the future of the state’s children.