Monday, November 27, 2006

Why I yelled at Tyler yesterday

by Natalie

Let's say there is an honest, hardworking family, living below the poverty limit, because the head-of-household works somewhere that refuses to pay a living wage. Unbeknownst to this family, someone has accessed their bank accounts and is taking $25 a week from them.

When it is discovered, some people get angry that this poor family has not been receiving enough, and has then had money stolen from them. They believe that we should continue to fight for a living wage, so hardworking families can achieve their full potential. Others believe that this money being stolen from this family just goes to show how they really were receiving enough, and now, with that extra $25 a week,they should be able to do a lot more - maybe they're actually receiving too much? If they survived without that $25 a week, maybe they don't need it.

The situation regarding the embezzlement from the Davis School District is much like the analogy above. It depends on your perspective. I think Tyler's perspective is wrong.

Many of us believe that our system of public education in Utah is being slowly starved to death. The powers-that-be believe that our teachers are worth less than teachers in neighboring states, and should teach here without leaving or complaining, because they love to teach. And that we should have only the highest qualified people teaching, when the wages in Utah are so low, comparably. They believe that sharing textbooks and not being able to bring them home to do homework is acceptable, and that children can learn to read in a class with 28 other children, or can learn trigonometry in a class with 44 other students.

This is why I took offense at Tyler's comments - the question isn't that we can do more with less - we already know we can. Our luck is running out. We shouldn't have to do more with less. Those are OUR CHILDREN in those classrooms. And the accused embezzling is bad, and it makes me angry. But the attempt to starve my children's school in the name of unfunded federal and state mandates, getting even with the teacher's union, competition, so-called parent choice, or even asking the school district to do more with less is wrong. Should the district be responsible and accountable for the money it is given? Yes. Is the district given enough? No.

The days where Utah could have a great education system, regardless of the amount spent per-pupil, because of dedicated teachers and involved parents are coming to an end. There is a crisis on the horizon. It cannot be solved only with money, but money is definitely part of the solution. To imply that it is not is naive. And offensive.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

North Salt Lake is going High Tech...

I've read some controversy about the new electronic sign that is going in in the roundabout as you head up the hill. The controversy was over having something so distracting in the center of an already confusing non-intersection.

My concern is also with placement. Why in the world would the city put a sign that is supposed to announce important city-related things in an area where huge portions of the city will never see it, or even possibly be aware that it exists?

It's not something that you could see easily (or read at all) from highway 89, if you happened to be coming into the city that way. It's obvious that no location would ideal for all city residents, but placing it at the CITY BUILDING sure would have made a lot more sense.

I hate to get into "the hill people" versus "us low landers" types of arguments, but this seems a case where the city council was not thinking about all of the people they represent. I know there are good, honest people on our city council, but it is interesting that there are no city council members living below orchard drive. Seems like "us low landers" need to get a little more involved...

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Can't decide who to support for State School Board?

Well, you're not alone. Chris Barden's campaign director wasn't sure, even after he'd taken the job with the Barden campaign.

Ben Horsely (who, incidentally, is a staffer for Rob Bishop) received a payment of $1,400 from Barden on September 22nd for his campaign director duties. On September 28th, he came to a meet the candidate event I had organized for Kim. I asked him if he supported Kim. He said he wasn't sure - that he'd just come to get some information to help him decide which candidate to support. I hope he's figured it out. Kim Burningham is the best choice for Utah's schools.

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