Education

CLASSROOMS NEED THE FULL SUPPORT OF OUR LEGISLATURE. I PROMISE TO MAKE EDUCATING OUR CHILDREN THE CORNERSTONE OF MY SERVICE TO HOUSE DISTRICT 24.

Let’s meet the Governor’s Commission on Education Excellence recommendation for a $1 Billion investment in education to reverse the significant crises we face in Utah Public Schools today.

  • Teacher retention: High turnover poses significant challenges throughout Utah’s educational system. Increased classroom size, loss of institutional knowledge and lags in getting new teachers and staff up to speed to meet the needs of our already-stretched classrooms are only a few of the problems created when we aren’t competitive with other states in meeting teacher salary and incentive expectations.

More than half — 56 percent — of the public school educators who started teaching in 2008 left the profession by 2015, according to a recent report by the Utah Education Policy Center at the University of Utah. – Deseret News March 13, 2017

  • Decrease the student to counselor ratio: For 10 years, I have worked hundreds of hours each year as a volunteer college counseling advisor for middle-class and marginalized hopeful college-bound students who are underserved by overworked high school counselors who, in most cases, are expected to serve 350-400 students, many of whom are applying to 10+ universities in search of an affordable college option. 1:350 counselor to student ratio is unacceptable. Some schools have up to 440 students per one counselor. Rep. Patrice Arent has worked tirelessly to improve this statewide problem.

Lillian Tsosie-Jensen with the Utah Office of Education says that Utah’s ratio puts counselors in a position where they simply don’t have the time to meet one-on-one with kids who want and need guidance. – KUTV November 11th 2015

  • Decrease the minority graduation gap: Having worked almost 10,000 volunteer hours in Salt Lake Public Schools, I have seen first hand the devastating consequences when our minority students lack knowledge of academic programs meant to support students with special academic needs. We need to expand these programs in schools serving high minority populations, and ensure that parents are informed of their availability, especially in K-6. We also must stem the tide of predominantly minority students who get caught in a cycle of escalating punitive actions for minor infractions, them on a path that does them more harm than good.

Hispanic students were more than twice as likely than their white peers to be expelled in 2014, according to the report, despite comparable expulsion rates for the two demographic groups in 2012. – The Salt Lake Tribune – May 23, 2017