To: Ann Millner, Steve Urquhart, Jim Dabakis, Wayne Niederhauser, Mark Madsen, Jerry Stevenson, Howard Stephenson, Marie Poulson, Michael Noel, Carol Moss, Daniel McCay, David Lifferth, Eric Hutchings, Greg Hughes, Francis Gibson, Justin Fawson, Steve Eliason, Kim Coleman, Lowry Snow, Brad Last, LaVar Christensen, LaVar Christensen, Wayne Niederhauser, Joel Briscoe, Jim Dabakis, Marie Poulson, Brian King, Curtis Bramble, Jerry Stevenson, Howard Stephenson, Daniel Thatcher, Lyle Hillyard,
Date: Sat Feb 27 02:40:05 MST 2016
Dear Legislators, Feb 26, 2016
Re: HB277, Chapter 1, Part 14, Digital Teaching and Learning Grant Program. . . . This bill appropriates: . . . as a one-time from the Education Fund, $750,000; . . . an ongoing appropriation: from the Education Fund, $47,500,000; . . . a one-time appropriation from Education Fund, $24,250,000; . . . an ongoing appropriation from the Education Fund, $500,000;. . . a one-time appropriation $23,000,000.
I know you have read the figures more than I have. But it appears to me that this bill would take approximately $96,000,000 from the Education Fund. I simply cannot believe that this has passed the house, when the dollars available in the Education Fund for the coming year - including this $96,000,000 - are barely enough to cover the badly needed costs of increased enrollment, let alone leave enough to improve the two most needed areas of our state’s public education system: teacher wages and class size.
My thanks to those of you who fought this bill. But it appears that too many of our legislators would rather put the money in someone else’s pocket instead of putting the money where it is really needed. If this bill passes, and our legislature continues to ignore the needs of our teachers - - - - I don’t know.
Please do not pass this bill. I have been watching an excellent young math teacher, the department chair of a 5A high school, struggling with following his dream of being a calculus teacher, versus being able to afford a home for his family. His dream is losing right now. If the legislature continues in this path, I know for sure we will lose this one excellent math teacher and many others like him, because they have the skills and ability to get much better paying jobs outside of our state or outside of education, and are quickly losing what faith they might have had in our state's commitment to quality public education.
Fred Ash, URSEA Legislative Chair