Utah Governor Gary Herbert said funding education must be the state’s No. 1 budget priority in the State of the State Address he delivered tonight. In it, he outlined four cornerstones of Utah’s strength, the first being education. The others are energy development, job creation and self-determination.
He specifically mentioned the importance of science, engineering and math instruction; ensuring reading proficiency by the third grade; and that optional extended-day kindergarten will benefit everyone in Utah because college success really begins in elementary school.
Here’s an excerpt from his speech:
”In the past two years alone, we added over 25,000 new elementary school students. But due to declining tax revenues, our schools and our teachers had to be innovative to absorb that growth. However, we can add only so much water to the soup without diluting the quality. This year we will add another 14,700 students.
However, the good news is that for the first time in three years, because of economic expansion, we have the opportunity to fund this growth in our public and charter schools. Therefore, in this legislative session, funding our children’s education MUST BE OUR NUMBER ONE BUDGET PRIORITY.”