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Utah Education Surplus for Rainy-Day or Now?

September 19
17:12 2013
Utah Education Funds

Utah Education Funds

The Utah Educational Association is pushing Utah Legislation and Governor Gary Herbert to use a revenue surplus for schools now instead of  a rainy-day. Due to a jump in state income tax revenue collected, Utah Education is getting more funds for the coffers. Of a $242-million budget surplus, state law says a major chunk of it must go to a rainy-day fund for education, but the Utah Education Association believes it should go directly to schools this time, to make up for recent years’ budget cuts.

Utah Governor, Gary Herbert, has said 120-million dollars of the surplus will go to the Education Rainy Day Fund and he says the balance could be used for education or economic development. Utah Education Association President Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh says the funds should benefit schools now and on the local level,

“We’ve had cutbacks in terms of the number of teachers we have teaching. We’ve had cutbacks in terms of the number of paraprofessionals that are helping out in Special Education classrooms. So absolutely, I would hope it would go directly to classrooms to impact students and teachers.”

Gallagher-Fishbaugh also says she hopes that state lawmakers won’t play politics with the education money,

“There tends to be a bit of a micromanaging on the part of some in the legislative body to specify where certain funds need to go, and that’s absolutely contrary to the local control issue.”

She adds the budget surplus is a good sign of the state’s economic recovery and, hopefully, an indicator of future windfalls for education.

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