To: Mike Kennedy, Stuart Adams, Lyle Hillyard, Jani Iwamoto, Aaron Osmond, Daniel Thatcher, Steve Urquhart, Joel Briscoe, LaVar Christensen, Bruce Cutler, Becky Edwards, Justin Fawson, Francis Gibson, Brad Last, David Lifferth, Marie Poulson, Kraig Powell, nthurston, Howard Stephenson,
Subject: Comment on OCT 1 Headcount elimination...
Date: Tue Feb 10 23:17:10 MST 2015
I am now in my tenth year as a second career teacher. Following a successful 20-year career in marketing and business management for several companies in Utah's hi-tech industry I chose to become a junior high school history teacher. I deliberately walked away from a 6-figure salary opportunity with Microsoft to make less money than I was making 20 years ago (unquestionably a sad statement of how educators are undervalued in our society in general).
In making the change to teach, I earned my Masters in Secondary Education from Utah State University and began teaching via the Alternative Route to Licensure (ARL) program. In spite of decades of real world experience and a demonstrated ability for excellent teaching, I was repeatedly turned down by the public education districts along the Wasatch Front. Fortunately, I was hired by a fledgling charter school who was willing to take me under their wing and help complete my professional transition.
I share that only to help you know that I take my role as an educator seriously. I understand the issues of funding, although under-funding charter schools is cheap discrimination for the sake of an experiment that has already proven to be sound. I understand the issues of eliminating the October 1st headcount for charter schools and you will no doubt receive many pleas to keep it in place for another year to help preserve some of the charter school funding already diminished.
May I suggest that you simply level the playing field 100% by recognizing the overall practical and proven track records of charter schools, not just in Utah but also nationwide and establish equitable funding with all public schools throughout the state. Whatever attendance/headcount and funding systems, including per pupil funding, are used for district schools can and should be applied equally for all public schools.
I implore you to set the record straight. We are way past the notion that charter schools are experimental. Indeed, district schools should be widely examining successful charter schools as a way to improve their own success. Competition, even in education, creates the necessity of opportunity.
History & Debate
Legacy Preparatory Academy
Woods Cross, Utah