Former councilwoman Pyfer discusses Citizens Academy, choice in education

Just before she stepped down as a member of the Logan Municipal Council, Tami Pyfer proposed a new initiative called Citizens Academy to help those who want to play active roles in a community to become better informed. This week Pyfer told the council the six-week pilot program was a great success. On KVNU’s Crosstalk show Thursday, Pyfer said she feels a lot of people would benefit from the Citizens Academy. “It doesn’t mean that you need to be someone who runs for office,” Pyfer said, “though we would certainly welcome any candidates that think they would like to run for the council next year. We’ll have three seats up. “Just people that want to make a difference, that want to be able to discern the information that they get and know how to be more effective in changing their neighborhood and their community.” Pyfer is now a member of the Utah State Board of Education. She says her activities in many educational groups helped qualify her for the new position. Utah remains last in the country when it comes to the amount of money spent per pupil for public education. Yet Pyfer says Utah students out-perform many of the states with much more money to spend. Pyfer said those who say we need more choice in public schools forget the fact that many parents choose traditional public education. “They want kids to be able to participate in the choir, in the band, and to play football,” Pyfer continued. “All of these things are not offered in most charter or private or other schools. But they choose public education. “So in making this wide variety of choice available for parents, we just need to be careful that we are not taking away choice for those parents who do choose public education.” Pyfer says that is a challenge for the Utah legislature and she does not envy their position at all.

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