Education

mary-bailey

Greg has my support because he knows how to make good things happen for educators and students in Utah. He works tirelessly to ensure that teachers are supported, appreciated, and recognized. He speaks for education.
– Mary Bailey, Former Corner Canyon High School Principal

 

I’m proud to say that over the past few legislative sessions we have been able to increase funding for public education at historic levels. Utah has been at the forefront of innovation in education. I have supported parent choice in education to help alleviate the strain caused by robust population growth in our state, while continuing to advocate for traditional public schools. I was very involved in allowing my constituents more power over their local schools as I pushed for the formation of the Canyons District, as well as the new Corner Canyon High School and Draper Park Middle School.

 

We have large numbers of students and limited dollars for education spending in Utah, so we need to be especially innovative and efficient with our resources. We have done this successfully for many years, but demographic changes are adding to the educational challenges we face as a state. I am currently sponsoring an education bill that has broad support, which would leverage private money to provide quality preschool programs to those children most in need of such intervention, but whose families are unable to afford it.

 

Because increased funding for education is dependent upon growing state income tax revenue and increasing property values, it is ever more important that our economy continue to grow. By lowering tax rates, allowing for innovation and encouraging business growth and expansion through the alleviation of unnecessary regulation, we will be better able to fund our educational system.
We could also greatly mitigated the funding challenges we face were we to force the federal government to abide by our state compact and provide us with the means to fund our schools through the sale of at least a portion of our land that they currently control.

 

I strongly supported and was the House sponsor of a bill which facilitates the grading of public schools. This process allows community members, policymakers and administrators to ask the kinds of questions of those schools that are struggling, as well as those that are excelling, that can ultimately lead to positive change within the schools and communities most needing help.

 

The Carson Smith Special Needs scholarship program is one which enables special needs children whose needs cannot be met in their local neighborhood schools to receive assistance in paying for such education wherever it may be found. I supported the expansion of this program.

 

The bill which created the statutory language allowing the Jordan School District split to occur was a bill that I strongly believed in and supported, in order to bring the responsibility for education closer to the people.

 

We can stretch finite resources by using technology in the classroom in a manner that frees up teacher time and gives students and teachers real-time feedback. I sponsored a statewide computer adaptive testing bill that does just that by providing much more efficiency in the testing and placement of students. Teachers can assess students’ capabilities quickly, in order to place them in appropriate learning levels in a timely manner. It also allows for the tailoring of each test to the individual student taking it, as the program will adapt the difficulty level of questions based on students’ answers. Within the bill there is also the establishment of a parent committee to ensure that questions are appropriate for our community standards here in Utah.

 

Charter schools allow for greater parental choice in education and take some of the strain off of our traditional neighborhood schools. I was the House sponsor of a bill which allows institutions of higher education to form charter schools.