As parents and teachers, we unequivocally support public education. We are concerned about bills at the Legislature that decrease funding from public education, place undue requirements and restrictions on teachers and school districts and erode trust in our educators and public schools. 

We believe in investing in teachers and schools through generous, responsible funding. We believe in supporting teachers and schools by partnering with them for our children’s best interests. We believe that parents can be involved in education by volunteering, communicating with teachers and discussing their personal beliefs with their own children.

We ask the Utah legislature to join with us in those goals.

The constitution of the state of Utah outlines, “The general control and supervision of the public education system shall be vested in a State Board of Education.” (Article X, Section 3) We encourage the Utah legislature to leave education oversight to existing schools, school districts, elected school boards and the Utah State Board of Education, in keeping with the ideals of local control and limited government. 

Legislative bills that affect education will be necessary sometimes, particularly when it involves funding. When faced with a bill regarding education, we ask elected officials to give weight to these criteria. Approve a bill only if it:

1. Gives more money to schools.

2. Alleviates burdens and pressure from educators.

3. Increases trust in educators’ training and professionalism.

4. Increases support for public education and the host of programs provided through public education.

If it doesn’t do one or more of those, we ask lawmakers to vote against it. 

We invite Utah legislators to meet with established groups representing those in our schools, such as parent, teacher, principal, superintendent and school board associations; attend school community council meetings; visit schools in person with the goal to listen. These are a few ways to understand the reality of our schools, the actual needs and the impressive collaboration between parents and teachers. 

We love our teachers and schools. We appreciate the efforts of every legislator who votes for increased funding; who seeks input from educators; and who supports Utah’s public schools in any way. We believe all concerns about education issues can be addressed through respect for teachers and good-faith communication with our local schools. Come and see the good that is happening in public education.

Cissy Rasmussen, Kara Rasband Edwards, Brittney Bills, Jaime Ward, Kelly Lay Smith and Caroldean Neves are members of Utah Parents Involved in Education