Ask legislators for more time to consider a major change to education funding!

Ask your House rep and state senator to postpone voting on HB 357 to allow more time for stakeholder input on education funding!

Tax reform debates made clear that the legislature seeks to solve the perceived imbalance created by the constitutional earmark for K-12 and Higher Education Funding. A new bill package has cleared the early stages of the process to asking voters to change that earmark and create a rainy-day education fund.
While the USBE has voted (11-4) to support the change, the UEA believes that with only one week in the session, there is not enough time to hear from stakeholders for this change.
We agree — teachers don’t have time in one week and after their days on the hill, to offer their perspective on the possibility that this change will further diminish K-12 allocations with Utah already the lowest funded in the country per pupil. The polling which shows the amendment would be favored by Utahns has such a slim margin that an eleventh hour process without the option to hear from teachers is a problem.
Even since the bill package has begun there have been numerous speedy substitute bills. What was once a capital levy change is now a rainy-day fund. The average Utahn can’t keep up with this change that will affect every income tax payer and every child in our state.
If you feel more time is needed to address education spending, write to your representatives here.

Simply scroll down and click “Start Writing” to email your two state legislators.

What would HB 357 Public Education Funding Stabilization do?

HB 357 changes funding structures for education and establishes a “stabilization fund” to protect school budgets against an economic downturn by

  • amending the allowable purposes for the capital local levy
  • providing for the Minimum School Program to be funded from the Uniform School Fund
  • providing for funding to and appropriations from a restricted account to stabilize education funding in circumstances in which revenues are insufficient to fund the public education system
  • providing for certain tax revenue to be distributed to the Uniform School Fund

What would SJR 9 Proposal to Amend Utah Constitution – Use of Tax Revenue do?

This joint resolution proposes to amend Article XIII, Section 5 of the Utah Constitution to expand the allowable uses for revenue from taxes on intangible property or from a tax on income to include supporting children and individuals with a disability. If passed, this resolution directs the lieutenant governor to submit this proposal to voters and provides a contingent effective date of January 1, 2021 for this proposal.

(Remember to personalize your comments for the greatest impact! Why do YOU support this proposal?)

  • Legislators presented HB 357 and SJR 9 very late in the session. With only days left in the session, there is not enough time to hear from stakeholders for this change. Teachers don’t have time in the final days of the session and after their days on the hill to offer their perspective on the possibility that this change will further diminish K-12 allocations, with Utah already the lowest funded state in the country per pupil. The polling which shows the amendment would be favored by Utahns has such a slim margin that an eleventh hour process without the option to hear from teachers is a problem.
  • Even since the bill package has begun there have been numerous speedy substitute bills. What was once a capital levy change is now a rainy-day fund. The average Utahn can’t keep up with this change that will affect every income tax payer and every child in our state.
  • There is plenty of time during Interim this year to allow for a better process for stakeholder and taxpayer input, as well as a special session for legislators to vote on the resulting measures, and still place a constitutional amendment question on the ballot for voters this November.
How to make sure your letter is successful:

  1. Use a clear and specific subject heading.
  2. Start with a salutation (“Dear …”).
  3. Be CIVIL, PERSONAL and as CONCISE as possible.
  4. Mention that you are a CONSTITUENT and include your full address with zip code.
  5. Sign your name at the end.

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