• House Education Committee Member (7 years, 3 years as Chair)

  • Former football coach at Maple Mountain High School (5 years)

  • Coached little league baseball and flag football (10 years)

  • Boy scout leader (8 years)

INCREASED EDUCATION FUNDING FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION OVER $1 BILLION

Education and education funding are always big topics in the Legislature. I’m proud to say that since I’ve been a member of House Leadership we have been able to add over $1 BILLION in new money to support the schoolchildren and teachers in our community.

In addition to education funding, we’ve worked to make our schools more effective. I sponsored legislation, SB 222 (2015), to allow the public education community to take steps in working toward a statewide digital teaching and learning program and to develop a pilot program to provide interventions for elementary-aged students with reading difficulties with SB 117 (2015). I’ve also worked to expand STEM opportunities in public schools with HB 150 (2014), so our youth have more exposure and more opportunities to fill the jobs of tomorrow.

Many teachers have expressed concerns over some of their best students opting out of SAGE tests, so I cosponsored HB 201 (2016), which put restrictions on the use of student scores from SAGE and similar tests in teacher evaluation and compensation decisions.

Utah has been at the forefront of innovation in education. I have supported parent choice in education to help alleviate the strain caused by robust population growth in our state, while continuing to advocate for traditional public schools.

We have large numbers of students and limited dollars for education spending in Utah, so we need to be especially innovative and efficient with our resources. We have done this successfully for many years, but demographic changes are adding to the educational challenges we face as a state.

Because increased funding for education is dependent upon growing state income tax revenue and increasing property values, it is ever more important that our economy continue to grow. By lowering tax rates, allowing for innovation and encouraging business growth and expansion through the alleviation of unnecessary regulation, we will be better able to fund our educational system.

We could also greatly mitigated the funding challenges we face were we to force the federal government to abide by our state compact and provide us with the means to fund our schools through the sale of at least a portion of our land that they currently control.

Education legislation I supported during the 2018 Legislative Session:

  • Historic levels of education funding include an additional $292 million this year.

  • Complete recodification and reorganization/cleanup of education code with HB 10 , HB 11, SB 11 and SB 12.

  • HB 46, Educator Licensing Modifications, authorizes the implementation of an educator licensing system and specifies that youth suicide prevention training for employees requires a minimum of two hours of training every three years (italicized words are newly added).

  • HB 231, Charter School Funding Amendments, would not allow charter schools that go over their enrollment cap to receive additional funding until every school under enrollment is funded.

  • HB 264, Elementary School Counselor Program, creates a program for elementary schools to receive a grant to hire a counselor or social worker for targeted mental health support in schools with a large number of high risk students and students experiencing intergenerational poverty.

  • HB 317, Special Education Amendments, extends the State Board of Ed’s responsibility for the education of students with disabilities to those younger than 22 (from 21).

  • HB 380, Utah School Readiness Initiative Amendments, strengthens and expands an existing school readiness program for at-risk children that provides high quality preschool programs. It includes entry and exit assessments, as well as program requirements.

  • HB 408, Public Education Amendments, creates the program Utah Leading Through Effective, Actionable, and Dynamic Education and authorizing the director to collaborate with participating universities and create and maintain electronic resources and a research clearinghouse.

  • SB 87, School Security Locks, amends code regarding hardware height and provisions for locks and bolt locks on doors for use during a school lockdown.

  • SB 127, Reading Software Program Amendments, authorizes the State Board to acquire certain analytical software to monitor the use of interactive reading software and its impact on performance.

  • SB 132, Competency-based Education Amendments, repeals a limit on the number of planning grants the State Board of Ed may award for competency-based education because of high demand for these grants.

  • SB144 Authorizes a local school board to unlock significant new revenue sources from debt service or capital local levy for technology and infrastructure projects and programs in our schools.

  • SB 173, State Charter School Board Amendments, amends the State Charter School Board membership by adding a member with expertise in personalized learning who supports innovation, in an effort to improve outcomes for charter schools.

  • SB 194, Early Literacy Program, amends provisions related to the consequences of a district or charter schools failing to meet a goal in the school’s plan related to early literacy, requires the State Board to provide support for those schools.

  • SB 198, School Disciplinary Action Amendments, requires the State Board of Education to work with schools and law enforcement agencies to compile an annual report regarding disciplinary actions related to students and other information regarding race, gender, age and disability status of a student involved in law enforcement and disciplinary actions.

  • SB 232, School Transportation Amendments, subject to legislative appropriations requires the State Board of Education to reimburse student transportation costs incurred by rural schools and charter schools.