Our high school students graduate at a rate of 80%. They score in the top 10 in the nation on AP exams.  The numbers seem to say our children are performing well.  But I think the biggest challenges to come for education are adapting to changes in how children learn and how curriculum is delivered.  The legislature must change, too, and provide flexibility in funding and regulations to allow for innovation.    

Education Choice

I believe parents have the primary right and responsibility to direct the education of their children.  

I support parents having choices of education models that best meet the needs of their children and objectives of their families, including public, public charter, private and homeschooling.  

Education Funding

I have operated a school budget in excess of $4 million with excellent audit findings.  I am concerned that too much of the legislature’s tax allocation to districts are restricted funds.  In other words, they can only be spent on certain items, similar to what we might call earmarks.  I believe much of these funds can be moved “above the line” to unrestricted funds.  Districts know their students’ needs better than the state, and schools know better than the districts.  I believe in the principle that public education funding is best used when directed by the government closest to the people--Local Control.

Education Governance

The Utah State Constitution establishes a system of public education and a State Board of Education charged with its general oversight and supervision.  There has long been tension between the State Board of Education and the Legislature to control education policy.  I believe this is because legislators, and their constituents who appeal to them, have not been satisfied with the actions of the State Board.  Rather than having the Legislature act as the Super School Board, I believe citizens should engage more in State Board elections. I believe the Legislature holds the purse strings and should demand reasonable accountability for tax-payer dollars.  I support legislation and policies that give more local control of public education.

Common Core

I have found that Common Core means different things to different people, and the perceptions of Utah’s participation in CC also varies widely.  The following are my positions regarding ANY activity, program or policy, whether it be Common Core, No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, grant programs or anything that could yet present itself.

  • I oppose sharing personally identifying student information with the federal government
  • I oppose relinquishing Utah’s ability to choose its curriculum, teaching methods, testing methods or materials
  • I oppose relinquishing Utah’s ability to direct the education of our children
  • I oppose federal government involvement in imposing or enticing states toward a nationalized set of standards
  • I support accountability for tax dollars
  • I support improving education through better teaching, better materials and choice—most of which should be done through local control


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commented 2015-02-12 18:37:05 -0700 · Flag
Coleman, your post and position is most insightful. As an US Army officer with over 17yrs of leadership experience; ten of it directly involved in education (USMA & ROTC) and having obtained a teaching licensed through the Troops to Teachers program I am very interested in continuing my service as a school leader. But the current statutes preclude me from being considered. This bill would facilitate the needs of districts and provide career transition opportunities for professionals like myself. Thank you for your endeavors.
followed this page 2015-02-11 06:02:59 -0700
commented 2014-04-03 22:31:34 -0600 · Flag
Here here!! Throwing money at education won’t raise test scores. Parental involvement is key. Educate parents to get involved with their child’s education.
Instilling a respect for learning in children is a job for parents AND teachers.