To: Francis Gibson, Lowry Snow, Patrice Arent, Richard Cunningham, Steve Eliason, Greg Hughes, Brad Last, David Lifferth, Daniel McCay, Carol Moss, Jim Nielson, Val Peterson, mariepaulson, Kraig Powell, Dean Sanpei, Keven John Stratton,
Subject: HB 96
Date: Thu Feb 06 16:34:24 MST 2014
I am a concerned citizen voicing my opinion against HB 96. I have several complaints against this bill and urge you to kill this bill now in committee and let it be known that you will not consider any more unconstitutional and invasive educational measures. First and foremost, I oppose the collection of personal data on my children. Whether this data is to be used for educational, statistical or any other purposes, I protest the invasion of our privacy. I do not think the State of Utah needs this information, and I have no confidence that it will be kept private. I do, in fact, believe that this bill is simply further gutless submission to the US Dept. of Education and their Common Core mandates. We citizens are aware that the Dept. of Ed. requires this data collection and requires participating states to change their laws to accomodate this invasion of privacy. We are aware that the Dept of Ed is using large Common Core-related grants to encourage compliance, but we are strongly opposed to our state selling out our principles for either federal dollars or the convenience of being part of the "system". I urge you, the representative of the people of this state, to stand strong and oppose all federal intrusion into our local school system. We do not wish to be part of a national, centralized system where our voices are not heard and our concerns are not addressed. Furthermore, the federal government has been Constitutionally and legislatively forbidden to meddle with education.
A second feature of HB 96 which I strongly oppose is the early education proposals. There is no solid evidence that sending very small children away from their homes to an institutional setting offers them any educational or developmental advantage, although it may help to lessen the strength of family ties and make the home a less consequential influence in their lives. There is, in fact, much evidence that early education is detrimental to healthy development. Please take some time to peruse the following articles and then seriously investigate this issue before doing something that would have such serious repercussions for our children. The family is the best "institution" for raising healthy children.
Finally, I oppose on principal the partnering of public institutions with "certain private interests". Public-private partnerships invariably reduce competition and create an unlevel playing field. It would have a detrimental effect on school choice and, ultimately, parental choice in finding the best ways to meet their children's educational needs. We need to encourage open free market choices, which have historically been the most effective way to innovate solutions, by not creating a government monopoly on schooling.
Again, I urge you, as a citizen of this great state, to stand strong for our local sovereignty and for our long-standing parental and privacy rights and eliminate this dangerous and intrusive bill now.
West Jordan, Utah