As a taxpayer, a parent and a PTA member, I am a strong advocate for having a strong, high quality public education system. While I do believe that in Utah we have used our dollars really well, we have stretched them in ways that may not be sustainable for our future.
Therefore, I wholeheartedly support a constant and robust increase to the WPU (weighted pupil unit, money that is dedicated to each K through 12 students in our state), and I would like to see us move away from the 50th position in the nation on this metrics. Compensating our teachers more fairly is a sure way for our districts and schools to continue to attract and retain talent to teach our students and ensure a bright future for Utah.
That said, I agree with Rep.Thurston’s concerns about the burden that increase in education funding brings to seniors and fixed income folks with corresponding increases in property tax. His proposed bill (HB77) allows the increase in education funding but caps the impact on the property tax to 4%. Given the budget ‘imbalance’ that the governor has explained to us, the income tax will be able to shoulder the increase.