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As Utahns, we share the collective pride that our state was selected to host the 2002 Olympics. We know there is much investing in infrastructure that the state must make to be ready for this event. However, after observing events of the current legislative session, we are feeling a real concern that the needs of school students will take a back seat to I-15 improvements and Olympic preparations.

Conditions have been improving in Utah schools as legislators have made improved school funding a priority the last few years. An article in the Jan. 22 edition of Education Week magazine pointed out ways in which Utah schools are well-managed and teachers, districts and lawmakers are doing a good job.However, the same article also pointed out clearly the problems still facing Utah schools: "The state has consistently ranked last in the nation in per-pupil funding"; "class sizes of 30 or more for half the state's teachers in grades 4-6"; "adjusted teacher pay ranks 45th among the states."

There are still real problems in our schools that can be solved only by increased funding. Lawmakers are currently focusing on "containing the growth in government," yet public surveys have repeatedly shown that taxpayers would pay more to improve funding for schools.

Utah children deserve the best schools our state can afford. Parents who care about the quality of education which will be available for their children in 2002 need to let lawmakers know that investing in schools is still a priority for Utah.

Trudy Henderson, Jake Leman

and nine others

Executive board members

Davis Education Association