I was very disturbed to read Rep. Carl Wimmer's response to the $101 million in stimulus money that could save teacher jobs and lower class size in Utah. He obviously did not read about or chose to ignore the Harvard study that tracked 12,000 students who attended kindergarten in the 1980s. The study tracked the students from 80 schools into adulthood. The results showed that students who had a more experienced teacher and were in smaller classes had greater achievement in kindergarten and went on to graduate from college in greater numbers on average than those who had less experienced teachers and larger classes. They also were earning between $1,000 and $2,000 more per year than their peers in the study at age 27.
Gee, maybe class size and teacher experience really do matter. So why would anyone in their right mind refuse $101 million for schools?
Wimmer stated that the Patrick Henry Caucus he leads was unanimous in its opposition to accepting the money. The choice of a name for their caucus is interesting since Patrick Henry denounced the Virginia and Kentucky resolutions approved by the legislatures of those two states against the validity of federal laws as "not warranted by any authority, and in the highest degree alarming to every considerate man."
Dave Van Langeveld
Salt Lake City