Saturday, September 15, 2007



Laurel said...

Why? There are a lot of claims that Referendum 1 is wrong, but no evidence.

WHY would it fail Utah families?

David said...


Anonymous said...

I feel I need to look into the issue a little more, but as for right now I think that if the state is going to give money to anyone who wants it to go to a private school, they shouldn't do that. I think that while we are here griping about how public schools are bad, maybe the money should go to the teachers so they will want to teach the kids. If I was a teacher, I wouldn't be happy with my paycheck. After all, I would be teaching children what they need to know.
So, I will vote against it.

Anonymous said...

That's the way to get votes, call people morons! That's how PCE views the Utah voter.

Silly David.

At least this ad doesn't play on the ridiculous like the PCE ads do.

Vote NO on Referendum 1.

Andy's Mom said...


I have read it and I'm voting NO!

Love you son.

David said...

Education is not the government's job. Public schools are a conveyor belt to pump kids out into the work force. The idea of promoting Private schools that are actually there to help kids get a true education is a wonderful thing! My education is my own, not that of the government.


Also check out and read about how education SHOULD be.

Lori said...

How is referendum 1 a conservative fair referendum? For instance, if I have sacrificed luxuries and paid to put my kids in private school in the past, I can't get voucher money. But if I have enjoyed my luxuries and not yet paid for private school, I get the money. Also, if I make a lot of money and I'm in a high tax bracket, I get less money back from the taxes for vouchers than someone who makes less money and pays less taxes. This is called the redistribution of wealth. I thought conservatives were against this? Explain please!If we can't have a fair voucher law, let's have no voucher law. Vote NO.

FOR REF 1 said...


It's funny you put your kids in private school, how come not public schools? What's your reason? You sound like you feel as though only the rich should have the opportunity. It's not about fair redistribution, it's about THE KIDS. Don't you get it. GIVE THEM ALL A FAIR OPPORTUNITY. We all can choose our friends, not our family. It's not the child's fault their parent's don't make as much as you. Get over yourself and think about the kids.

Anonymous said...

I am not a wealthy person by any means. But it sounds like this referendum helps the lazy people who expect everything handed to them. The referendum only says that kids and families who are eligible or qualify may get the vouchers. And they can only attend the schools the government says they can attend. Where is the choice in that?

Anonymous said...

Here is some good info for those that are not sure. This tells us why this is not a good idea. It will fail your kids and Utah.

Anonymous said...

ksaid-- I teach school because I love children. I love to teach. I have spent thousands of dollars of my own money over the twelve years I have taught in public education. This comment "Public teachers became public teachers for one of two reasons job security or the kids." I work hard to stay educated and teach the very best I can. The majority of the teachers I work with do the same. There are a few teachers who we need to get rid of I agree. Taking money from UTah children is not the way to get rid of a few bad teachers.

Joe said...

A recent argument that I've heard against the referendum is that utah has the least funding per child in the nation and the largest class sizes. I find it odd that the only way to get a substantial tax break (credit) in utah is to have more children. I believe that people with more children should pay more taxes to help them get better educations. If they can't pay more, then maybe they should think about not having as many. Why should responsible citizens pay for those who are not?

Anonymous said...

First of all, if you look on the State Office of Education website, school districts only receive $2,514 per student. This is less than the $3,000 that families could get in a voucher. Second, the cost of private schools are a lot more than $3,000 that you may get in a voucher. Third, public schools have to test the students at the end of the year which holds teachers accountable for their teaching. Private schools are not held accountable AT ALL! Fourth, I have a B.S. in elementary education and a Master's degree in education. I am currently making $30,000 a year. If you think teachers teach for the money or the job security you are not correct. Teachers do it for the kids. Finally, who would you rather have teach your child. A teacher in a public school with a master's degree in education, or a private school teacher with no degree or any experience in teaching children?

Anonymous said...

This is not right! Everyone needs to vote NO!

Anonymous said...

Homeschoolers would also be able to receive vouchers. This is ridiculous! We, as tax payers, are going to pay for parents to homeschool when most of them don't make their child do any school work? RIDICULOUS! VOTE NO!

Anonymous said...

Look, lets realize what public education was established for in the beginning--get the poor working and literate. Most middle class and rich people had commonwealths, private courses or personal mentors/tutors at their personal residence or community educating. Even Will Smith gets it, he said in People Magazine, "I home school my kid you think my son would ever read Aristotle in Public School." He thought there was a better way for his kid. There is no need to get caught up in which education is better because obviously it is up to the parents and the child and what they think will be best. But with a good percentage of Utah's citizens running on limited income it is hard to pay for public school and turn around and pay for what might be a better way for their child. Lets free it up and let kids and parents educate the way they see fit. Voucher laws may not be perfect but its a start at carving away some of the power our gov. holds that they shouldn't.

Anonymous said...

I guess we should all just face the fact that the more money you dump into schools isn't really ever going to end up in the teachers hands so the less kids the teachers have to teach the easier the job. Referendum 1 is a solid way to go. It will help teachers in public schools and citizens who want to choose their educational future. I vote yes.

Anonymous said...

Some of you have made some very compelling statements, however, I still have not made up my mind. Someone made the statement, "Voucher laws may not be perfect but its a start at carving away some of the power our gov. holds that they shouldn't." I agree, but I don't know that I'm ready to have something less than perfect pass concerning my children's eduction. I think some more tweaking needs to happen for me to be completely convinced.

web said...

Homeschoolers would not qualify to receive a voucher. Vouchers cannot go to any school held in a private residence and must have at least 40 students.

web said...

To clarify, to be eligible to receive a voucher, a school must have at least 40 students and cannot operate in a residence.

web said...

Where is reliable info about per pupil monies. I read everything from $7500 to $2,514?

I wonder about the way we are setting public schools up to become remedial institutions by passing this referendum. Parent involvement is a key to a successful education. Not all parents are involved. Public schools could end up becoming the place where kids with uninvovled parents attend by default. The kids who need the most help usually have parents who are unable or unwilling to help. Therefore they wouldn't put their child in a "private" school.
Also, "private" schools are not required to keep a student if they do not wish to. Thus behavoirally difficult kids, or kids with other challenges the "private" school may not be willing or equipped to deal with will end up in the "public" school.

momof4 said...

I want to know the real info on how much public schools get for each child, also. I also think that even if you qualify for a voucher, there is no way that it will be enough for most private schools. If you are already at poverty level, and you thus get the $3000, which is the highest amount possible, you will still not be able to afford the extra $2-3000 for the tuition. I have not found any private school where tuition is less than $5000. This also applies if you are a mid-income family. Say you make $50,000 a year. This is nowhere near "low-income", but also not enough to send 1 or more kids to private school. In this case, I am guessing that you will get a lot less than the $3000, which also means you cannot afford the extra $3000-4500 in tuition. It seems that even if it did what they say it should for giving the option to low-income families, it is not realistically set up to allow most people to afford to send their kids even with the vouchers.

Anonymous said...

Where can you go to read Referendum 1?

Anonymous said...

Home schooled kids do not get vouchers. The school can not be in a home and has to have 40 or more students.

Anonymous said...

Low income families can also get money from a nonprofit organization called Children First Utah. They have a year and a half waiting list. Plus most private schools have scholarships that they can get. Having the vouchers and these other programs will help lower income families have a chance to go to a private school.

Anonymous said...

Points to consider about Referendum 1:
-Its not about putting children first or redistributing wealth, its about creating large tax breaks for private educational institutions that are backed by powerful left-wing special-interest groups.
-A $3000 vouchar will get your chid close to no where in considering the large tuition costs per-student amoung most private schools. It will likely cause more strain on low income families.
-With little guidlines, standards and policies in place, private schools are not suffiently regulated for academic performance and progress.
-The guidlines state that teachers for private institutions must possess a college degree. Notice that it does not state a B.S. in some type of education, but any degree including an Associates in any field is sufficient. One must question the qualifications of the teachers that are being hired.

Anna said...

I think it is interesting that a lot of people argue that private schools wouldn't really help the children because they don't require teachers with degrees and/or they aren't held responsible. Now, i haven't made up my mind completely about Ref 1, but it would seem to me, as far as this argument goes, wouldn't parents concerned about these issues just leave there children in public schools? It seems like people are afraid that everyone is going to rush out and put their child in a private school or something. I, personally, thrived in the public school system, and really, all I want is the best education suited for each one of my children. I don't necessarily think one school will be the best fit for all of them. I have visited public and private schools and there are some private that I would NEVER send my children to and some public that I would love my children to go to, based on the needs of the individual child.

Anonymous said...

When the state allocates $7,500 per student, how much of that trickles down to your son or daughter? If we were to know how each school's costs were broken down, we'd see how much of that $7,500 is spent on brick and mortar, teachers' salaries, supplies, maintenance, janitorial, and then finally on any book or pencil or scientific or playground equipment one child might use. No matter how many oreo cookies you stack, we must realize that the exact amount allocated to just one child is a very small portion of that $7,500 and the rest goes toward "public" education or providing for everyone. When you take away $500 to $3,500 (depending on the family's economic qualification), you are taking away far more than just what was spent on that one child --- you are making providing an education very difficult for those who remain.

I'd also like to understand more about how these costs will appreciate in the future and what price tag those 2007 allocations will carry in the future. So putting your neighbor's child in a private school in 2007 takes away betwen $500 and $3,000 now. What does this referendum say about rising costs and escalating financial commitments. Let's find out all the facts.

Anonymous said...

No accountability? Um, the parents are making decisions now, that's more accountability than the state could ever provide.

How does taking $3500 away from $7500, along with the student his or herself, not give more money to the remaining students in the public school? That means that even in the extreme case, $4000 will still go to the public school to help them provide for the student that they are not supporting anymore. If you actually do the math, you will see that public schools will have more money per pupil. And the latest Census Bureau data states that in 2005 the per pupil spending (total, including some peripheral costs) was about $5300. The Utah Taxpayers' Association estimates that it will be $7500 in 2008, and their guesses have been within 1% of the Census Bureau's reports consistently.

Anonymous said...

Yes on 1,

Watch the debate on: comcast-on demand-education.
This is about the districts and union losing their absolute control over the funds and system.
Vouchers will improve the quality of education in this state by introducing competition. Public schools will net more than twice the public funds that a private school will receive per student. If they can't compete they need to adjust.
Don't fear choice.
Why let the government dictate your child’s curriculum and future.

Anonymous said...

Vote YES on One! It's time to get rid of public schools altogether. I'm tired of baby killing union faggots deciding what's best for my children.

To learn more go to

Marvin said...

This is what I sent to KUTV.

Re: Referendum 1
I am hearing a lot about how the students are effected if the Ref.1 passes.
This is not as important as to how it will effect the teachers, their Salaries, the School transportation, the school lunches and the maintainance of the facilities.
If the monies go to the private sector, then what will it do to our taxes. The 460 plus million dollars earmarked for Ref.1 will effect our taxes greatly, because the teachers will not have enough funds to keep their classes any smaller than they are now.
The 460 million dollars divided among the state population would be about $150.00 per person, and a family of three would have to come up with $460.00 more to support the Ref.1
Why would we have to pay the way for others to go to private school, when it would not help any of the (my) lower class students to attend the private schools. The middle class students would also not be able to afford the additional cost of going to the private school because there would be to many other financial demands. The only students that would benefit would be those with sufficient funds to support themselves at the schools anyway.
Please forward this memo to the group against Ref.1

Anonymous said...

I know that I am sick of paying for illegal immigrants to go to school. I'd feel that my (yet to be born) children would be safer and better educated going to a private school. They also wouldn't have to be subjected to ignorant white trash and illegal immigrants from mexico, etc.

Anonymous said...

Here's something Utahn's need to think about. The amount of funds that each school gets is dependant upon how many students they have. So the whole "oreo" analogy is deceiving to say the least. Taking students out of public schools will only take money away from those schools. Please stand up for our public schools!

Anonymous said...

The Oreo example looks great on the surface! Too bad it is all based on lies! Anyone that believes class sizes will decrease if Referendum 1 passes is a fool and doesn't understand how government works. With less money in the public education system, teachers would be let go and class sizes would either stay the same or get larger. The Utah Legislature is only going to spend so much per student, so don't believe for one minute that any money left over from a student getting a voucher for a private school is going to be allocated out to the students left in the public school system. Think about it! We spend less per student than any state in the nation yet our kids score well above the national average on standardized exams. We get more bang for our educational dollar than most in the nation. This is a tribute to the wonderful, dedicated teachers we have in our public schools. Wake up Utah! We are spoiled by our educators. Imagine what could happen if we spoiled them. Read to your kids, visit their teachers, spend more quality TIME with them and you'll be amazed how their education will blossom! Vote NO!

Anonymous said...

Under the Parent Choice in Education Program, public funds will be used to provide
scholarships for students who attend private schools, including private religious schools. The use
of public money for students attending private religious schools may conflict with federal or state
constitutional provisions that prohibit the use of public money for religious purposes. In
addition, other aspects of the Program may conflict with equal protection provisions of the
federal or state constitution or with state constitutional provisions relating to the State Board of
Education's authority or the scope of the public education program. Because of the Program's
unique characteristics and the lack of a directly applicable court ruling, it is unclear how a court
would rule on any of these issues.

Anonymous said...

Before we make rash decisions on whether we should vote yes or no, we must actually know the facts. If a student did withdraw from a public school to attend a private school, the school district would continue to receive a portion or remainder of the per-student state funding for the next five years. This also gives the choice of the students education to us, the parents. Most will probably keep their children in the public school and if that is the case than this vouchar program will benefit those in public schools.

The actually bill is posted here:

Anonymous said...

Looking at the bill.. it would seem to me that if a student now left to go to a private school we lose the funding for that student all together. So.. if we get to count that person for 5 years years and receive a portion of that funding, isn't it better to get some rather than none.. I mean how many people are going to leave anyway.. I don't really think this bill does anything. Go look at the break down.. it seems the max $3000 is allowed only at an income level that could not afford to pay even with the voucher. So.. if we still get the allocated amount for a private school student (minus 500) public schools benefit.

Anonymous said...

The money allocated to the public school is still granted to the school in the event that a student tranfered to a private school for five years or until the student graduates from highschool.
However, in the event of a student transfer and a portion of the money taken away from the public school, they still have expenses to meet. Supplies, employees, etc... Wouldn't there be a cut on teacher employment?
In addition, instead of sending SOME of our students to obtain a "priviledged" education in the private sector, why not improve our public sector and provide a "priviledged" education for all?

David said...

I'm currently attending an unaccredited private college here in Cedar City called George Wythe College. I have learned more in the last 2 months I have attended this school than I have in 2 years of public schools. I admit that this is one of the reasons I am for the vouchers. I do not think the voucher system is perfect and that is what many anti-voucher people base their points on but I do think it is a step in the right direction and here is why. Most Utah citizens see public school as the answer while I see it as a monopoly which if we were looking at the business world would be fought against like the plague. The public school system is a conveyor belt, which is not bad for everybody, but when everybody has to take this conveyor belt it causes problems. First, with a public school monopoly they are able to tell us what to think, and that they do. They tell us that we must go to school to be taught what to think so that we can go work for somebody for the rest of our lives. Like I said, for some people that is just fine, but not for everybody. With the vouchers in place it will create some competition, which in my studies has never decreased the quality of service but has only increased it as the monopoly suddenly discovers that if they are not doing what their customers (in this case the parents and kids) want then they have to change something. I have discovered in my in depth studies of the referendum that it is actually the UEA and other teachers organizations that oppose the referendum because it could take away some of the monopoly that they have in public schools. The referendum will actually increase per student funding, which is something all parents and kids should be for, but decreases total funding as some students will decide that the conveyor belt is not the right thing for them. I personally plan to be a leader, business owner, entrepreneur, investor, and educator. In no public school could I learn to be all those things at once but at George Wythe I can, and more effectively than I have ever been taught in my life. I am being taught HOW to think for the first time in my life. Okay, maybe not the first time as I have had a few teachers in my public school days who think out of the box and have helped me to think out of the norm which in turn has lead me to where I am. I have met many teachers who are for the referendum but it is because they are more concerned about their children's education than they are for their job and they have read things other than what the UEA has to say. Once again, I believe that it is not perfect and is not the ultimate answer, but it is a step in the right direction.

Anonymous said...

I have read REF 1 and heard both sides of the argument. The argument that weighs most heavily in my mind is how we are setting up private schools to become an elite club, where underperforming children and troubled students are eventually removed and placed into the public system.

I think we parents should become more involved in our children's education. Reinforce what they are learning - read with them, teach them. This responsibility should not be left solely to the schools. Too many think schools are responsible for educating our kids, and that philosophy is what brought about private schools.

Let's keep good kids in the public school system to help out those students who struggle. Struggling students often come from troubled homes. Many of life's greatest lessons are learned when we reach out to those who are struggling. Learning lessons in patience, compassion, and humanity are just as important as math, science, and reading. All of these lessons can and should be taught at home first, and reinforced at school.

Regarding funding, remember that only a percentage of all $$ goes to the kids. The rest pays for fixed costs like supplies, salaries, building maintenance, etc. Cutting funds will affect public schools' ability to function - eventually resulting in some combination of lower pay, teacher reductions, fewer field trips, etc. We can only speculate how many kids will transfer and what the actual reductions will be. In any case, Ref 1 seems to be bad in the long term for public schools and the kids who attend them.

I am voting against Ref 1 to keep good kids in good public schools.

Bob said...

The other day I was listening to the Free Capitalist voucher debate and the host was saying how he never read a book until he was in college. It reminded me of the quote from the last comment:
"I have learned more in the last 2 months I have attended this school than I have in 2 years of public schools. I admit that this is one of the reasons I am for the vouchers."

Sorry to be so frank, but this sounds more like a parental problem than a public school problem. I started reading very early thanks to a mother who encouraged reading every chance she had, and because of teachers who helped us find books that are real treasures. I also believe that Sesame Street and PBS had much to do with my ability to read, and my desire to do so.

Our society has certainly benefited from public school. My high school provided us with a pool, a football field, a great art program, baseball and basketball, and other activities that promoted school pride. I also look back and I can see what an asset it was for my parents. I rode a school bus all through-out the winter months, as did everyone else in my neighborhood.

I also enjoyed public schools because I attended school with my friends in the neighborhood. We were all Titans, and we loved our school. I went through the public school system with many of my friends from kindergarten to 12th grade. We are still friends.

I also look back and remember how important it was to know so many different people. Diversity made a difference in helping me appreciate, understand, and work with others.

For the last twenty years the Republican lead legislature has not been very public school friendly. Now they are ready to cut and run by building yet another tier of education that no matter how hard the try to sell it, it nothing more than a big city entitlement. How many students can truly use this subsidy in rural Utah?

Imagine a Utah that is the example of stewardship. A Utah that has built the best public school system in the nation. That is who we should be, that should be our common goal. Why would we continue to say yes to legislators that have ignored education, that is until a group called Parents for Choice in Education decided to pay them to act.

I'm voting against REFERNDUM 1, because I have decided to be accountable for the majority of Utah's children. I also know that if there are problems with Public School, and there are problems, who is utimately responsible for those problems? We are, the voters.

A half a billion dollars is ceratinly a lot of cookies.


matt said...

the actual text of the bill is here:

for those you who actually want to become informed instead of throwing around emotionally charged but factually dubious arguments.

Anonymous said...

As a mom who has had her child in "private" school and pulled him out, I say very strongly VOTE NO! I had the choice of a "public" teacher with a double masters degree or a "private" school teacher that was a high school graduate. Which one would you pick for your child? PLUS, I watched the administrators of the "private" school misuse tuition money. They would go to lunch, put tires on their cars, and fill their gas tanks with the money that was supposed to go to the children's education. They can do this because they aren't watched over like public schools. Do you want your tax dollars to go to the child or to the administrators of the public schools? (BTW, we turned this into the state and no action was taken, hmmmm) VOTE NO, vote for your child!

Shannon said...

Vote Against! IT IS JUST ANOTHER WAY TO HELP THE RICH. How is Referendum 1 suppose to help those of us in rural areas? Even if we wanted to use the voucher we do not have access to private schools. It will do nothing to lower class sizes in rural areas!

Anonymous said...

I wish that everyone posting would actually read the bill. It would do a lot for these people. Most of the people that are writing the "vote no" comments are basing their comment on nothing. They sound very uneducated on the subject. I don't care if they are for or against the bill, I just think it would help their cause if they actually read what they are posting about. Many of the "vote no" camp don't realize that a great deal of their funding comes from liberal groups from outside of the state of Utah trying to push their agenda on us. I would hope that there could be some real debate on the bill in the future as opposed to the repitition of prepared talking points.

Anonymous said...

Part of the bill states that the private schools will have to report to the government how the money is being spent on the students. If they don't they don't qualify.

Anonymous said...

Let those damn kids go get a job to pay for their schoolin. George Dubya is dumb as a stump and he managed to get elected President. Why does anyone need an education anyway?

That's what Huntsman and I think.

Misty said...

I am amazed at how people can make comments and recommend voting yes or no based on pure emotions and no facts. I am not going to go over every detail but if one were to truly get the facts, the truths that exist out there, I could not see how anyone would not vote yes. I am a father of 19 children, I work extremly hard every single day not only at work but when I get home to ensure that my children have good core values and a good education.

I teach them every single day about choice and accountability within this world. CHOICE is alway better than NO CHOICE. Referendum 1 gives us a choice. I have children in both a charter school and a public school.

The difference are stark and evident in terms of environment and level of education. I would choose a charter school every single time and I hope that I will always have the choice to make.

I might not because of special interestes groups and those that are pumping large amounts of money into a campaign to try to ensure they or people they represent stay in a position of power and influence with the current system.

We all know that the education system the way it is today is broken. We all know that, especially in Utah, we have been promised year after year that something will be done and it is not done. I really feel based on the facts, this is our chance to get something done ourselves, something we can do by simply having a choice.

I hope that choice is not taken from us because of political rhetoric and those that have more money win.

Anonymous said...

I do not want my tax dollar going to a private business. Give me my tax money back so I can go to Disneyland with my poor family. And then take all of those Oreo cookies and crunch them up and feed it to the birds. How stupid are those that say to vote yes. This is just sick and wrong to give the semi-rich another tax break. Keep all of the money in the public school and let the people that want to send their kids to a private school get a second job like I did for 13 years.

Anonymous said...

Okay, here is a 24 year old college student with no kids. One who will probably not have any kids in the public school system for a good 5 years. The only reason I'm researching referendum 1 is for a project at school. So I beleive I have an unbiast opinion. I SAY YES to referendum 1. Why? The $7500/student that is currently allocated to students is not going to change. So all the uninformed people whinning about having to fork more money out can stop. I found nothing in my research that proves any hinderance to the public school system. Those that are againts the housebill 148 say it largely lacks accountability. The accountable parties will be the parents as it will be their desicions as to where to give their children private education. There is a larger contextual issue at hand that is the tense economy. An alternate solution that would have the same positive effect as referendum 1 will cause a large tax hike and put a very dangerous pressure on the current Utah economy. If I were a betting man I would bet that have the comments on here are of very uninformed people that allowed their emotions to be taken by superficial propaganda. Dig deep folks. Its important right? Its your children! C'mon! Vote YES for REFERENDUM 1!

Randall said...

I personally am voting for Referendum 1. This issue is not about money. It's about POWER, and who has the ability to decide what the majority of kids learn. I believe that parents have the ultimate responsibility and accountability for their child's education. Does it have issues, sure like still taxing the people and giving the government control of your money. But at least it provides an opportunity for parents to take greater control and interest in their kids educational growth.

If you want to learn more about referendum 1, I recommend visiting to get some more details and greater understanding about vouchers and how they give more power to parents.

lari said...

Please click on my name go to my blog and watch the video. It is a little long, but VERY informative and shows why we SHOULD be for Referendum One. Competition among schools is GOOD. It weeds out the bad ones and encourages the good ones to do better.

Ben said...

Parents should be the ones who decide where public education funds will be spent. The UEA and NEA oppose vouchers because they don't want to be accountable to parents. Under the voucher system, bad teachers will lose their jobs rather than being transferred to another district. Teachers and schools will have to continually improve to keep their funding. The end result will be better schools for our kids. How can anyone oppose that?

Anonymous said...

About Ref 1 lowering class sizes...When a school's numbers drop, so do their allocated
FTEs (Full-time educators). In other words, as class sizes are reduced because of falling numbers, then teachers are pulled from the school and are "surplused." So, how exactly does Ref 1 lower class size?

Anonymous said...

Ben, you really don't have a clue, do you?

Brian said...

"How is Referendum 1 suppose to help those of us in rural areas? Even if we wanted to use the voucher we do not have access to private schools. It will do nothing to lower class sizes in rural areas!"

This program won't help me. Everything is all about me. So let's penalize the rest of the community.

"As a mom who has had her child in "private" school and pulled him out, I say very strongly VOTE NO! I had the choice of a "public" teacher with a double masters degree or a "private" school teacher that was a high school graduate."

Capitalism working it's magic here. A concerned parent having a choice, and being able to take her business away from a poorly run institution. Clearly another sign to vote no.

The beauty of the private school industry. You have the ability to send your child to a school that meets your expectations. If they fail to meet your needs you take your child out along with your money to one that does. If the instructors aren't qualified enough for you, who do you have to blame? Take a look in the mirror.

Ben said...

I know a number of public school teachers who say it's nearly impossible to fire a bad teacher. Bad teachers just get transferred to another district. The teachers unions protect bad teachers. Vouchers will give parents the ability to empty the classrooms of bad teachers. Poor kids should get more like 7K so they have equal opportunity to switch to a private school if their public school is under-performing.

Drew said...

Ben, I had a teacher that really had it out for me. He was demeaning, ill-tempered, and quick to over react. He had a problem with my buddy Al, and that problem transferred over to me, and a couple other guys in that class.

One day Mr. Shirley went off on Al. Being a loyal friend, and a speaker of truth I defended Al. The next thing I knew I was sent to the school counselor, Mr. Goatees. Mr. Shirley wanted me suspended and out of his class. He made it out that I was a danger to society (maybe he was right).

The only thing that helped me through that moment, because it was tough, was the knowledge that speaking the truth was worth any punishment Mr. Shirley could dish out.

In retrospect, I guess that I would have loved to see Mr. Shirley canned for what I felt was misconduct. But, the truth is, a majority of the kids he taught carry great memories of Mr. Shirley.

Sometimes people just don't get along, even at private schools.

I agree, if a teacher that doesn't cut the mustard, they should be held accountable. But it doesn't take long for a good school administrator to recognize a problem. I also understand that this world truly has a problem with demonizing others that we don't like, or are angry with. It is becoming harder and harder to forgive each other's shortcomings. People get fired unjustly, everyday. Old friends never speak again.

Very often we say terrible things about each other out of selfishness, or profit.

There is a lot we can do with the system we have already. I spent an hour speaking to 75 students at a local charter school. I was so impressed with what I saw.

The other barrier we need to climb is teachers salaries. This one step will greatly improve what is already a pretty great community education system despite the lack of support over the last twenty years by the Republican lead legislature.

There are other steps, but first we need to vote down Referendum 1.

lauren said...

I work in the schools; if this law passes the effect that it will have on our school system throughout Utah is huge. It is going to effect the resources that the students recive and many postion in the district will have to be cut because of funding. The money that would be taken a way is not exactly per person that money is disdriputed evenly to all things that effect the students. This is to much money to be taken away from our public schools. If referdum 1 passes if is going to damage many things in our in our schools throuh out Utah. Many things will be cut and students will not get the attention they deserve Vote NO on refedum1

Anonymous said...

Interestingly, I read so many comments about accountability of private schools being a rationale for not supporting vouchers. In contrast, my experience in having both attended private schools and in observing my mother's position (which is to help find funding for people to attend private schools) is that people have selected private schools year after year because they produce results. They produce better educated children and, the good schools, are nationally and internationally ranked based on RESULTS.

Telling parents that they would be hoodwinked by a privte school that didn't offer results is an insult to a parent's intelligence. Any responsible parent willing to research and move their child to another school is doing so because their child is NOT being served in public school. That includes parents using charter schools as well.

Parents who are low income still choose private schools if they can find scholarship money based on merit or need. Those do exist. The vouchers are helpful because its a little chunk less that the school has to drum up to accept low income families (which they have been doing for decades already out of pocket).

The existence of these vouchers does not place the community at risk of developing BAD private schools and it doesn't rob the schools of any money. In either case, the voucher gives the public school more in replacement of absentee children than it currently gives for those same children. The school currently doesn't receive ANY money for students that don't attend their school. If the voucher passes, the school receives four THOUSAND dollars per student that does NOT attend for FIVE years. That is 20,000 dollars of FREE money to a school per student. The family may only receive 500-3000 dollars. And they have to still pay for the remainder. This reduces class size AND increases funding to the schools. How are schools losing here?

lari said...

To all reading this, please visit my blog. I updated my entry and included a video with a KSL segment which debunks ads such as these. It's the second video in the post.

Rob said...

KSL Rejects Vouchers

From The KSL editorial board:

The KSL Editorial Board has thoughtfully considered the views presented by opponents and proponents of school vouchers, and has come to the conclusion that a broad taxpayer supported voucher system should not be implemented in Utah.

Our opposition to vouchers boils down to a fundamental question: Is Utah's public school system broken and in such disarray that doing something as radical and unproven as directing precious tax dollars toward private schools, many of them parochial, the answer?

We think not!

It is not a question of school choice since parents already have a variety of options in Utah. Any parent who so chooses can send a child to a private school, or a charter school, or a different public school! School choice is not the issue!

A vote against vouchers must not be interpreted as a vote for the status quo. Make no mistake about it, there's plenty of room for improvement. Still, contemplate what could be accomplished if the energy that has been directed at vouchers could be redirected toward implementing reasoned, effective and adequately funded reforms in the tried and tested public school system.

In KSL's view, that's where the focus of Utahns ought to be. Let's reject vouchers and work toward making changes that will benefit all Utah children for generations to come.

Anonymous said...

I keep reading these back and forth's about why we SHOULD or SHOULDN'T vote for Referendum1. Some people in here keep talking about letting people have the choice of where to send their children to school. Well here is my problem, you get $3,000 through this for your child to go to private school. Well great, now go and find the other $7,000 ( roughly) you need to actually send your child to school. And suddenly your realize.....this still only helps, who.....the rich. Because the middle class still aren't even CLOSE to being able to afford it. Oh, and we are talking Utah here right. Most people have 2 or 3 or more kids in school. So WITH Referendum1, they still need to come up with $21,000 dollars to put their 3 kids through private school...........FOR ONE YEAR. Not going to happen. So this bill doesn't really give anyone a choice, just the rich a bit more pocket change. I've also heard that each school, or district gets a certain amount of money for each child that LEAVES. Well how much do they get, and how much did they LOOSE when he left. Is there a total net GAIN, or LOSE of money for the school when the student leaves. No one is saying, or they are saying so with wildly varying figures. The pro TV ad states that we have $7,000 per student, and that leaves $4,000 for the school or district, if a student leaves with $3,000 for Referendum1. But the Utah government web site, lists our budget per student as less then $3,000. So which is true??? I'd like to think that this helps our kids have more educational choices. But if you really want to know if it will help the average family, simply go to your nearest private school, or better yet get a sampling of several, solely on their costs per year, and see if $3,000 per child is enough to cover the costs, or even really make it a feasible option. And I mean feasible, in the sense that you don't break the bank and max out your credit cards to do it. Because remember folks, college tuition is right around the corner.

Anonymous said...

Somebody above asked the question about who I would rather have teach me, a person with a masters degree in teaching or someone with no teaching experience. Hmm... I have yet to see a private school where the teachers do not know what they are teaching. Plenty of idiots and morons get general and teaching degrees and still cannot teach. If you assume that the private school teachers are not qualified simply because they don't hold a college degree, then I would rather have anyone BUT you teach me. -Angry Junior

P.S. My dad is a teacher and a union member, but we looked it over and if it doesn't work, we'll vote it down next year. And as for those studies comparing to other states' voucher programs... the programs are nowhere near the same. We came to the conclusion as a family that the studies cannot be trusted to model results for THIS voucher program.

Anonymous said...

Fascinating the thought process that goes into this. Laurel said, "Why? There are a lot of claims that Referendum 1 is wrong, but no evidence."

Here are a coulpe of things to ponder before you can say it's good or bad.

1. Where is this money coming from to give money back for taking your child out of public schools? (ie. Healthcare, other government programs, etc.)

2. Who is behind this bill? What truely is wrong with the way things are going now? I can almost bet that only a handfull of people will leave the school system because of a $3000 voucher. All this seems to do is award those that already have their kids out of school.

3. My wife and I don't have any kids, so by us not have kids in public school, are we not entitled to the voucher as well?

It appears that this is just another bill that pits the have's against the have not's.

I will be voting against this Referendum.

Anonymous said...

Here is a response to the oreo ad: The REAL oreo voucher ad

????? said...


yes it is dumb
who ever came up with it is dumb

*.* i like smileys
-????? who cares

Anonymous said...

This Referendum is horribly flawed! Be sure you read every word for yourself before you trust what anyone else is saying about it!!! Both sides are leaving out important information when it is debated! I am voting against it!!!!!

Someone who has read the bill said...

One of the anonymous posts said that the bill allows private schools receiving voucher students to employ teachers with an associates degree.

Referring to the requirements for private schools that can be attended, the bill says the schools must

"154 (g) employ or contract with teachers who:
155 (i) hold baccalaureate or higher degrees; or
156 (ii) have special skills, knowledge, or expertise that qualifies them to provide
157 instruction in the subjects taught;"

It seems pretty clear that a bachelors degree is required.

I'm still undecided (but leaning towards voting for it) I just want to be sure no-one makes a decision based on misrepresentations of the facts.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I am all for Referendum 1. Maybe when enough people see what it does for the schools and the QUALITY of teaching, they will be for it as well.

I think that the school system has problems. Without something to persuade schools, teachers and educators in general, to do and be better the system will continue to be broken. Of course teachers are against it, it might mean they have to teach YOUR children or be replaced by someone that will. I have first hand experience on how poor some teachers are. I had an Algebra teacher that knew nothing of Algebra, yet somehow managed to be "Certified" as a teacher. I don't see how that helps.

Those against this Referendum often tout there is no accountability in it. My question is, where is the accountability NOW? With all these tax dollars going toward education and so many recent scandals of people pilfering from these school dollars, why is it that it takes YEARS to notice?

The system is broken, and needs to be fixed! I have children of my own, and see that this is a great program. They will stay in Public Schools, but ultimately, I am responsible for the education my children get.

I give Referendum 1 a SOLID vote FOR! It gives freedom of choice to parents, not limitation as the current system does.

SkylerZaleski said...

Vote no to Referendum 1,
Why: Private Schools have no accountability,
Money will be taken out of Public Schools,
It causes segregation,
The difference between the rich and the poor will increase,
The middle class will suffer and decrease in size,
Vouchers give tax money back to parents that send their kids to Private Schools but people with no kids in school get no money back it is unfair and unjust,
Vouchers will be giving money to the many Church schools thus there will be no separation between church and state,
Schools for money are what the Voucher program creates, look at Chile and there is a prime example how vouchers scholarships in grade school are creating a large gap in between the rich and the poor,
Vouchers will ruin the sports programs that we have in public schools,
Adds claim that Vouchers will give money to the public schools for the kids that aren't there but how can the school district know who would be there and who would not be there a flaw a loop hole making it so that Public Schools will loose money.

SkylerZaleski said...

Vote no to Referendum 1,
Why: Private Schools have no accountability,
Money will be taken out of Public Schools,
It causes segregation,
The difference between the rich and the poor will increase,
The middle class will suffer and decrease in size,
Vouchers give tax money back to parents that send their kids to Private Schools but people with no kids in school get no money back it is unfair and unjust,
Vouchers will be giving money to the many Church schools thus there will be no separation between church and state,
Schools for money are what the Voucher program creates, look at Chile and there is a prime example how vouchers scholarships in grade school are creating a large gap in between the rich and the poor,
Vouchers will ruin the sports programs that we have in public schools,
Adds claim that Vouchers will give money to the public schools for the kids that aren't there but how can the school district know who would be there and who would not be there a flaw a loop hole making it so that Public Schools will loose money.

clintandalison said...

I haven't read every single comment, so sorry if someone already posted this link. This is an impartial breakdown of referendum 1, which I found very informative:

Ivan said...

Can someone tell me where the money is coming from?

According to the Lt. Governor's office this should cost the state $5.5 million the first year and increase each year up to $71 million a year after the 13th year. Of course, they also say that the "school districts statewide will together save: $2.4 - 11.5 million during the Program's first year; and $11 - $28 million during the Program's 13th year". That still leaves a $43 million difference the 13th year and every year after that.

Do we really have that amount of money floating around that we can give to private organizations? If we do, why isn't it being used to improve the system that is already in place?

I'm not sure what my vote will be but if someone could please answer those questions I would appreciate it.

Also, if this is really to help those who can't already afford to send kids to private school than why are we going to give money to someone with 1 child who is already making over $150,000 a year? Will $500 really make that big of a difference to those people? Why not set a limit and increase the amounts given to lower-income families?

Again, I'm not arguing for either side because I don't know how I will vote but those two things keep coming up in my mind. Answers would be appreciated. Thanks.