Rally Fails To Sway Lawmakers on Education Funding
On Monday lawmakers were finalizing this year’s education budget without taking into account calls from the Utah parents as well as educators who have stated that there needs to be an increase of the funds which are allocated to public schools.
In a gathering which was called for by educators and parents that took place in the Capitol Rotunda, signs such as reading "Teachers are the solution," "Our Kids Deserve It" and "WTF, Where's The Funding?" were the order of the day.
The parents and educators cheered chants praising Gary Herbert who proposed that education funding should be increased by 6.25% in per-student spending. In addition to that they also booed the City’s legislators who released a proposed budget last week that will see the education funding reduced by 4%, that is approximately $100 million.
According to Liz Zentner, the President of the Parent Teacher Association in Utah, parents need to stand up and speak for what is right.
"We need to stop being the silent majority and let the legislators hear our voices," she said.
The rally seemed to have an effect on some of the legislators as soon after it ended Republican Joel Briscoe proposed amendments which will see education funds per student spending being raised by 5%.
That said his motion failed in the floor of the house in a 29-44 which saw 16 republicans and 13 House Democrats coming together to support the bill.
According to Holladay’s Rep. Carol Spackman Moss said that, "I don't know if you stepped outside tonight but there probably were 1,500 teachers here," adding that, "they wanted you to hear them and they wanted you to know that this [budget] is significantly lower than they were hoping for”.