There are many issues to tackle during the 2017 session of the Utah State Legislature, but lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agree that the issue expected to take the most time and deliberation during the new session is funding for public education.
Utah Republican State Senator Lyle Hillyard of Logan is chairman of the Public Education Subcommittee, and he said it is a major challenge to determine how to spend the limited amount of money available and maintain quality education.
“As I listen to the discussion,” Hillyard said, “it’s pretty clear that having better trained students to take the jobs that are available and having education facilities more focused on the jobs that are coming up is really going to be an important thing to continue our economy doing as well as it’s doing.”
Hillyard said two factors make funding public education difficult. One is the large number of children in the state, while the other is less property tax since the state owns so much of the land.
A group called <a href=”https://ourschoolsnow.com/”>“Our Schools Now”</a> has proposed a $750 million tax hike initiative, but Hillyard says it is difficult for a legislature elected by the people to raise taxes, especially on such a high amount.