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UT P.T.A. President Hopes Budget Surplus Helps Schools

PHOTO: Utah Gov. Gary Herbert should fund education at a higher level with hundreds of millions of dollars in anticipated new revenue and surplus funds, according to Liz Zentner with the Utah Parent Teacher Association. Photo credit: State of Utah.
PHOTO: Utah Gov. Gary Herbert should fund education at a higher level with hundreds of millions of dollars in anticipated new revenue and surplus funds, according to Liz Zentner with the Utah Parent Teacher Association. Photo credit: State of Utah.
December 3, 2013

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Gov. Gary Herbert should fund education at a higher level with hundreds of millions of dollars in anticipated new revenue and surplus funds, according to Liz Zentner, president of the Utah Parent Teacher Association (PTA).

Herbert is expected to announce his multi-billion-dollar budget proposal early this month for the fiscal year that starts July 1, 2014.

Zentner says education funding should be a top priority because Utah has the nation's lowest per-pupil funding rate and the nation's biggest class sizes.

"The main problem I think is because the teachers are not getting their professional development,” she says. “That time has been cut back and back and back. "

According to the Utah Education Association, it would take an additional $400 million in education funding spread over the next three years to return the state to pre-recession funding levels.

Zenter says she is hopeful that Herbert and state lawmakers will follow through on talk of increasing education funding.

"I know the governor is committed to it and I think most of the legislators are,” she says. “I hope all of them are."

Zenter adds a major funding focus should be on professional development for teachers and hiring more school staff.


Troy Wilde, Public News Service - UT