This post is sponsored by Our Schools Now in partnership with Forward Influence. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
As a mom with 6 kids attending Utah schools, it’s clear that our schools need more funding. Utah is last in the nation in per-student spending. That’s a statistic that could change with a new initiative on the ballot this year. Question 1 is proposing a ten cent increase in the gas tax in order to add $150 per-student in funding.
I live in an area of high growth and local schools are seriously struggling to keep up. There’s talk of going to year-round school or instituting a school-sharing model in order to accommodate the number of kids in the area.
Despite that, I’ve heard of schools in our area that have classrooms sitting empty because there just isn’t budget available to hire additional teachers.
Something has to change.
A quality education is one of the biggest contributing factors to future success. We strongly emphasize the importance of a good education in my home. My kids know that school is their “job”.
We’ve been fortunate enough to have some amazing teachers (including one pictured below), but the reality is, they simply need more funds to keep giving students the kind of educational experience that they deserve.
Up to 50% of Utah’s students are not proficient in math, science and reading. The lack of funding is starting to catch up to us and, unless we make some changes, the educational situation is only going to get worse.
An initiative on the ballot this November is working to improve that with Question 1, a proposal to increase the gas tax by ten cents in order to provide additional funding for Utah students.
The funds from this initiative can only be used towards things that improve student experience, for example: smaller classroom size, higher teacher salaries, and purchasing supplies. None of the funds can be used towards administrative costs or building funds.
Right now, Utah class sizes are the 3rd largest in the nation.
I’ve seen that first-hand as an active substitute teacher. I’ve been considering going back into teaching full-time within the next few years, but the issues of large class sizes and low teacher pay (we are currently the 5th lowest paid state) have made me seriously question whether that’s a path I want to go down. I LOVE teaching and I love the time I get to spend with kids in the local schools as a substitute teacher, but I see how hard our teachers work.
We invited local parents over this week to chat about what Question 1 would mean for Utah students. My daughter’s Kindergarten teacher from last year joined us and shared just how important this measure is to our local schools.
It was clear that we all want the same for our children — a quality education. There’s no easy solution to the issues that our schools face, but Question 1 is a huge step in the right direction.
It is estimated that Question 1 will cost the average Utah driver $4 a month.
What would you buy with an extra $4? A burger? Shampoo? A couple pounds of apples?
For Utah students, that $4 a month would mean class sizes that enable them to learn without distraction, teachers who can afford to stay at their jobs long-term, and supplies that help them discover how exciting education can be.
I easily donate more than $4 worth of supplies to my children’s schools each month. Adding $4 to my monthly gas bill seems like a very small amount to pay in order to help Utah kids get the educations that they deserve.
On November 6th, I’ll be voting “Yes” on Question 1. I hope you’ll join me.
For more information on Question 1, visit OurSchoolsNow.com.