Utah now has one of the broadest school voucher programs in the country, allowing up to $3,000 of General Fund monies to be transferred to private schools for students who elect to leave their public schools and attend private schools.
The legislation passed in the House of Representatives by only ONE vote (38-37). The Senate vote was 19-10. For the record, EVERY Senate Democrat voted against the bill. To reiterate, the Senate Democratic Caucus opposes school vouchers. We believe their existence will undermine the public school system, particularly in our state where per-pupil spending is the lowest in the nation. We have grave concerns about the forthcoming impact of this new law. “I am not sure our state can afford three education systems,” said Minority Leader Mike Dmitrich, referring to public schools, charter schools, and now private schools.
Public opinion polls in the state indicate opposition to vouchers. The will of the people is reflected in our NO votes.
Click here for Senator Davis’ poignant speech 2/9/07 on the Senate floor during the HB148 debate.
Click here for the Senate Vote.