Pyfer pleased with governor’s budget proposal, concerned about legislative attitudes

She says public education is under-funded in Utah with the lowest amount of money per-pupil and classes that are among the largest in the nation. Even so, State School Board Member Tami Pyfer says she is pleased with what Utah Governor Gary Herbert has proposed in his budget for public education.Pyfer says, most importantly, the governor has funded new growth this year along with optional extended-day kindergarten.”He’s funded an arts program, the Beverly Taylor Sorenson Arts Program, that the board supports,” Pyfer continued. “And he did fund transportation this year. “We were looking at a $6.3 million loss in public transportation. That is the school busing for our kids. That is in his budget and we just hope the legislature keeps it in his budget.”On KVNU’s Crosstalk show Tuesday, Pyfer said unfortunately some Utah lawmakers have proposed bills that she feels would harm education, such as giving each school a report card. The proposal is coming from Utah State Senator Howard Stevenson.Pyfer says his sponsored bill would grade public schools with a letter grade of A through F. Stevenson claims it would bring accountability and transparency to public schools but Pyfer strongly disagrees.She says Stevenson and some other lawmakers fail to see that the main problem with education in Utah is under-funding. Pyfer says she’s disappointed in comments Stevenson made in an interview with a Provo newspaper.”Senator Stevenson said, and I’m quoting here, ‘The local school boards across the state of Utah are, with rare exceptions, utterly without vision. “‘They get a call from the superintendent the day after they’re elected and they’re invited down to the district office where the nose ring is installed with which they’re led around for the next four years.'” Pyfer said in spite of Stevenson’s personal views on Utah education, he is chairman of the Senate’s Education Committee.

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