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Letter: As a special ed teacher, I’m against Amendment G

SHARE Letter: As a special ed teacher, I’m against Amendment G

A third grade classroom at Parkview Elementary School in Salt Lake City sits empty on the first day of school as students attend classes online on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Amendment G says that income taxes would be used for students and individuals with disabilities. That sounds good, but it does not tell who will lose that funding: The funding will be permanently taken from public education.

Before 1995, all funds from income taxes went to public education. Utah was the 20th highest U.S. state in proportion of personal income going to public education. There was an amendment passed in 1995 to share public education funds with higher education. Amendment G is too vague. It would take money from education that could use it for a multitude of other services and programs.

I am a special education educator and have been a teacher and an administrator. I understand many difficulties and want very much to help students and individual with disabilities, but this is not the way. There are many federal and state funds that are and can be used for them. Public education should not lose more funding, when Utah already has the lowest per-pupil funding in the nation.

Utah now ranks 39th among the United States in proportion of personal income going to public education. Utah students’ scores on standardized testing have decreased as the funding proportion has decreased. In 1995, Utah students scored well above the national average on all of our standardized tests. Now, Utah student scores are even with the national average or below it.

Some educators and educational groups were beguiled into supporting Amendment G by legislators promising more educational funding, but only if the amendment passes. These promises may not be kept and are based on public education losing the permanent funding that comes from income taxes. This is not right.

Amendment G is bad for public education. Please vote against Amendment G.

Lynda Simmons