Education News Roundup: July 29, 2014

Education News Roundup for November 28_"Back to School" by emilyonasunday/flickr

Education News Roundup for November 28_”Back to School” by emilyonasunday/flickr

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

Will a new agreement keep a Jordan District split off the ballot?
http://go.uen.org/1Bq (SLT)

 

Washington District touts its preschool program.
http://go.uen.org/1BB (SGS)

 

Politico looks at the Common Core PR wars.
http://go.uen.org/1Br (Politico)

 

Hechinger looks at Hoboken NJ’s 1:1 initiative.

http://go.uen.org/1BO (Hechinger Report)

 

Food trucks. They’re not just for hipsters anymore.
http://go.uen.org/1BL (AP)

 

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

Jordan school board approves agreement to stop district split Education » Members hope deal will appease cities upset with services.

 

Jordan School District opens doors on its last planned school

 

Free preschool program paying dividends

 

St. George teen receives national leadership award

 

Teacher remembered as champion for underdogs

 

Montessori charter school on track to open this fall Lowcountry Montessori School will soon break ground on permanent facility

 

USSC Makes Ready for ‘Safe to Learn. Safe to Teach’ Armed Teacher Classes

 

Christian-based private school moves to new location in Preston

 

Officials encourage safety as Jordan School District starts new year

 

In high school, higher standards lead to higher dropout rates

 

 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Struggling with math

 

The Road to Common Core: One way or the highway

 

Iron County School District, accountability or witch-hunt?

 

Bump Catholic schools to 4A athletics

 

Five minutes not long enough to get to class

 

Teacher tenure refugees flee public schools Traditional public schools need to change to retain students.

 

Why the Education Economy is the Next Big Thing for the American Workforce How Can Integrating our Educational System, Our Employers, and Our Job Creators affect Our Modern Economy?

 

 

 

NATION

 

Moms winning the Common Core war

 

Where Unaccompanied Immigrant Children Find a Temporary Home

 

BESE president wants to join Common Core lawsuit against Gov. Bobby Jindal

 

Campbell Brown takes on teacher tenure in New York

 

Why a New Jersey school district decided giving laptops to students is a terrible idea

 

More Schools Open Their Doors to the Whole Community States and Towns Deliver an Array of Government Services on Campus

 

Temple University scraps SAT requirement for new students

 

Georgia school officials sued in Kendrick Johnson’s gym death

 

E-Cigarettes Cloud Schools’ Anti-Smoking Policies

 

Miss. a national leader in negotiating school lunch prices

 

NYC Uses Food Trucks to Bring Summer Meals to Kids

 

 

 

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UTAH NEWS

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Jordan school board approves agreement to stop district split Education » Members hope deal will appease cities upset with services.

 

Jordan School District board members made the first step to prevent a district split Monday by approving an interlocal agreement drafted to improve communication and planning between the district and cities.

“The purpose of doing this is so that children and employees are not faced with a district split and fewer opportunities,” board member Kayleen Whitelock said. “If we do not do this, that’s where it’s going to go … if it means that children get more opportunities then it gets my vote.”

The board’s attorney will draft a final version of the agreement with recommended changes to language before the South Jordan City Council meets on Wednesday.

The City Council may decide as early as Wednesday night or as late as Aug. 5 whether to enter into the agreement with the district or put the question of a split on the November ballot. City leaders first began talking about a split amid concerns that the district wasn’t keeping up with the South Jordan’s rapid growth.

The agreement was drafted by South Jordan’s city attorney Robert Wall and revised by the board’s attorney Joan Andrews. It requires the district to present the cities with a five-year plan of implementing new schools, but can be reviewed annually and terminated if necessary.

http://go.uen.org/1Bq (SLT)

 

 

 

 

Jordan School District opens doors on its last planned school

 

HERRIMAN — Summer ended early for students at Blackridge Elementary, a new year-round school that opened its doors for an inaugural school year Monday.

Vice Principal Rebecca Lee said the grand opening proceeded with relatively few surprises, but considerable work remains at the school.

Blackridge’s library contained little more than carpeting; its computer lab had no computers; the gym and cafeteria were blocked off to serve as a staging area; and portable fans were placed throughout the school to make up for an absent air conditioning system.

“We’re a little rough around the edges, but we’re having a great day, really and truly,” Lee said.

The Jordan School District’s newest and largest elementary school, a modified version of the two-story design seen at Silver Crest Elementary and Eastlake Elementary, is also the last in the district’s plans.

http://go.uen.org/1Bu (DN)

 

http://go.uen.org/1BD (KTVX)

 

http://go.uen.org/1BE (KSTU)

 

 

 

 

Free preschool program paying dividends

 

ST. GEORGE – Three years into a grassroots-style effort to provide more preschool options to Washington County children, educators are starting to realize the benefits, with the more than 600 children who participated in the past year averaging an 185 percent improvement on pre-kindergarten tests.

The Title I Preschool program is available to children coming from low-income homes and other circumstances that could hinder their early childhood learning, and for the past three years the program has provided a free avenue for some of the area’s most in-need children to come into the school system better prepared.

Students have come into the program scoring lower than 60 out of 160 on a standardized test that measures readiness for first grade. By the time they leave, they average better than 140, said Kathy Petersen, Title I director for the Washington County School District.

“They’re actually coming in better than their non-Title I peers,” she said.

http://go.uen.org/1BB (SGS)

 

 

 

 

St. George teen receives national leadership award

 

EmRee Moody just graduated from high school, but her leadership in service to others has already earned her national recognition.

On July 12 she was named National Youth of the Year by the National Exchange Club, which recognized the 18-year-old St. George resident’s service through the Washington County Youth Corps, Snow Canyon High School’s Service Club and the Washington County Youth Court, among others.

She received the award at the Exchange Club’s National Convention in New Orleans, where she was also a speaker.

http://go.uen.org/1BC (SGS)

 

 

 

 

Teacher remembered as champion for underdogs

ST. GEORGE – With years of service in education at Dixie Middle School, science teacher Terri Lusk is being missed by many former students, co-workers and community members.

Lusk passed away Friday after being struck while jogging on Red Hills Parkway by a truck that morning.

http://go.uen.org/1BA (SGS)

 

 

 

 

Montessori charter school on track to open this fall Lowcountry Montessori School will soon break ground on permanent facility

 

Exactly one year after local parents and educators received permission to launch a new charter school in Beaufort County, its doors are set to open in August.

Lowcountry Montessori School will open in a temporary home, with a permanent facility to be completed soon after, according to director Amy Horn.

The state-authorized charter school begins classes Aug. 25 in the former E.C. Montessori & Grade School building on Lady’s Island. In the coming weeks, Lowcountry Montessori, which is working with a development company, plans to break ground on a permanent site in the town of Port Royal and open the new building in January, Horn said.

“We honestly didn’t think we would be able to do this right off the gate, but we found a company willing to work with us,” Horn said. “So we are so excited that we will be able to have our own school so soon.”

The school is working with Utah-based American Charter Development, which provides financing and development services for charter schools to build facilities. The company bought 8 acres at 749 Broad River Drive, according to school board member Candace Martin.

http://go.uen.org/1BT Beaufort (SC) Gazette

 

 

 

 

USSC Makes Ready for ‘Safe to Learn. Safe to Teach’ Armed Teacher Classes

 

The Utah Shooting Sports Council is preparing for a future “Safe to Learn. Safe to Teach.” concealed carry permit class for those working in the school system.

The Utah Shooting Sports Council previously conducted this class to overflow crowds after the Newtown, CT killing spree by a mentally ill person. We have not yet decided on a date or location. We will announce the class via these alerts.

This class will be open to anyone actively employed with a private or public school, college, university, or vocational school.

http://go.uen.org/1BW Ammoland.com

 

 

 

 

Christian-based private school moves to new location in Preston

 

The Kimber Academy, a Christian-based private school, is opening a new location in Preston this fall.

http://go.uen.org/1Bz (LHJ)

 

 

 

 

In high school, higher standards lead to higher dropout rates

 

New graduation requirements are credited for the increased class of 2014 dropout rates.

http://go.uen.org/1Bv (DN)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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Struggling with math

(Ogden) Standard-Examiner editorial

 

The current controversy over practices and changes with the Development Mathematics Program at Weber State University is more of an indictment of the lack of success high schools are having in teaching math skills.

Frankly, far more important than the controversy over math requirements at WSU is making sure that high schools teach more students to be competent at math and eventually be able to avoid taking developmental classes in colleges and universities. Any situation in which a student enters a university level without math skills necessary for higher education should be extremely rare.

At WSU, there is a petition against some practices and changes in how the university handles its developmental math program.

http://go.uen.org/1Bw

 

 

 

 

The Road to Common Core: One way or the highway

(Provo) Daily Herald op-ed by Pamela Romney Openshaw, author of “Promises of the Constitution”

 

Opposition continues to build toward Common Core, the behemoth, pseudo state education program tucked quietly into the federal government’s hip pocket. People are waking up, and big names in the freedom movement have joined the charge.

On July 22, at the Provo Towne Center’s Cinemark 16 Theater, Glenn Beck presented “We will Not Conform,” his effort to relegate this program to the federal funeral pyre. Joining him were Michelle Malkin, journalist and author, David Barton of WallBuilders, and Dana Loesch of The Blaze Network, along with parents, former school administrators, legislators and organizers from all sides of the political spectrum who are deeply invested in junking this program.

The Provo event, one of 700 simultaneously held nationwide, was well-attended.

http://go.uen.org/1By

 

 

 

 

Iron County School District, accountability or witch-hunt?

St. George News op-ed by Bryan Hyde, a local radio commentator and writer

It’s been nearly a year since members of the school board for the Iron County School District made the decision to approve the purchase of a building near the district’s headquarters on Royal Hunt Drive in Cedar City.

Questions have now arisen as to whether the school board overstepped it’s authority in the way in which it authorized the $1.6 million expenditure.

The questions are being raised by Doug Hall of the Iron County Alliance of Taxpayers and they take aim at whether school district administrators and members of the school board may have violated the state’s Open and Public Meetings Act.

In particular, Hall is asking the state auditor and the state attorney general’s office to determine whether the district violated the law by failing to tell the public that they were going to vote on the purchase and also failed to record the meeting for the public record.

http://go.uen.org/1BU

 

 

 

Bump Catholic schools to 4A athletics

Salt Lake Tribune letter from Brayden Fisher

 

As high school football is about to begin, can the UHSAA make some better rules when it comes to recruitment? As Juan Diego Catholic and Judge Memorial Catholic can open and close the doors to any prep athlete, the UHSAA can make it fairer to the schools they compete against by bumping them up completely to class 4A. (Judge Memorial plays 3A in football and 4A in basketball and baseball.)

That should be a consequence for being able to recruit junior high school athletes entering high school and offer them free school tuition to play for their teams.

http://go.uen.org/1Bt

 

 

 

 

Five minutes not long enough to get to class

(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Austin Bailey

 

I just finished my 7th grade year at Fairfield Junior High. Don’t get me wrong; it was a great experience, but I found it hard to get to class on time. Currently, we only have five minutes between our classes. Just to make it to class on time, I have to put on my gym shoes and set a new sprint record. I have to weave in and out of the giant 9th graders, like I’m in an elaborate moving obstacle course. What if I can’t dodge one? Forget about making it to class on time. Also, don’t forget about the binder I have to carry around, it adds around 10 pounds to my weight. What I’m saying is it’s hard to get my classes on time.

http://go.uen.org/1Bx

 

 

 

 

Teacher tenure refugees flee public schools Traditional public schools need to change to retain students.

USA Today op-ed by James Richardson, vice president of Hynes Communications

 

When public school administrators and teachers in Washington, D.C., recently laced up their sensible shoes and launched an unprecedented canvassing campaign to goose slumped enrollment rates, the panicked affectation was unmistakable.

Short of horse-drawn carriage makers, few industries have suffered such a pronounced decline in market share than government-run schools in America’s urban centers. Consider the numbers: forty-four percent of the District’s public student population has abandoned conventional neighborhood schools for public charters.

But while the taxpayer-financed campaign was designed to signal fresh responsiveness to parents, the effort merely reinforced the perception that entrenched teachers and labor unions were braving the sweltering heat out of self-interest. No students means no jobs.

Here, where traditional public school enrollment has dipped by 30,000 students in just the last 18 years, administrators believe the key to stemming the exodus of public school refugees lies in diverting precious resources from improving instruction to marketing.

http://go.uen.org/1BI

 

 

 

 

Why the Education Economy is the Next Big Thing for the American Workforce How Can Integrating our Educational System, Our Employers, and Our Job Creators affect Our Modern Economy?

Fast Company op-ed by BRANDON BUSTEED, executive director of education at Gallup

 

Though the economy and education have long been topics of top concern to Americans, we haven’t created strong linkages between the two.

The topics are more like two castles with a large moat between them. Yet there is nothing more important we can do as a country than to build the world’s most effective “educonomy,” which would seamlessly integrate our educational system, our employers, and our job creators. Unless we get education and the economy working together more effectively, America will relinquish its role as leader of the free world.

Political consultant James Carville’s famous quip “It’s the economy, stupid,” changed a presidential election. It’s quite possible that “It’s the educonomy, stupid,” will change and shape not just politics but all leadership for the next decade to come. Here’s why.

http://go.uen.org/1BR

 

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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Moms winning the Common Core war

Politico

 

The millions have proved no match for the moms.

Supporters of the Common Core academic standards have spent big this past year to persuade wavering state legislators to stick with the new guidelines for math and language arts instruction. Given the firestorm of opposition that took them by surprise, they consider it a victory that just five states, so far, have taken steps to back out.

But in a series of strategy sessions in recent months, top promoters of the standards have concluded they’re losing the broader public debate — and need to devise better PR.

Consider: Conservative commentators Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin held a crackling town hall meeting last week describing the Common Core as a threat to local control of education. The two-hour event was simulcast in 700 movie theaters nationwide and will be rebroadcast Tuesday night in more than 500.

About 10,000 aspiring activists have since downloaded Beck’s “action plan” for defeating the standards. Beck’s slogan, “We will not conform,” is still echoing on Twitter. FreedomWorks, the tea party group that co-sponsored the event, is planning Skype chats to hash out tactics with local activists inspired by the evening.

The response from Common Core backers?

A pair of sedate videos featuring three former Republican governors — one of whom has been out of office for 11 years — sitting in front of a gray backdrop, eyes fixed on a point slightly off camera as they cycled through familiar talking points. And a news release offering quotes from standards supporters, including a fifth-grade teacher in rural Colorado and a Pentecostal preacher from Virginia.

http://go.uen.org/1Br

 

 

 

 

Where Unaccompanied Immigrant Children Find a Temporary Home USA Today

 

For the 40,000 children who travelled thousands of miles without their parents on a harrowing migration to the U.S. from Central America, the goal was typically the same: a home with a parent or relative who had already made the journey.

In many cases, that end point was an additional hundreds of miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border and the temporary U.S. government shelters that have been a recent focus for anti-immigration protesters.

Sponsors waiting for the apprehended immigrant children often live in the populous border states of Texas and California. But some also live in the northern-most U.S. states — Maine, Minnesota, even Alaska.

http://go.uen.org/1BG

 

A copy of the report

http://go.uen.org/1BH (Office of Refugee Resettlement)

 

 

 

BESE president wants to join Common Core lawsuit against Gov. Bobby Jindal New Orleans Times Picayune

 

Chas Roemer, president of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, plans to recommend Tuesday that the board join a lawsuit challenging Gov. Bobby Jindal over the Common Core academic standards and new tests. That suit, filed last week by parents and a New Orleans charter school group in 19th Judicial District Court in Baton Rouge, “will discuss the constitutional role of BESE,” Roemer said Monday, “so we need to be in the room.”

The Jindal administration is holding up the board’s pro-bono contract to be represented by Baton Rouge lawyer Philip Preis, saying it has problems with its terms. But Roemer will recommend BESE go ahead with Preis anyway, because “the AG’s already decided” the hiring is appropriate. If the board agrees, Preis would ask the court to intervene in the suit and see what happens, Roemer said.

Eight of the board’s 11 members have supported Common Core and the new tests.

http://go.uen.org/1Br

 

 

 

 

Campbell Brown takes on teacher tenure in New York Washington Post

 

An advocacy group headed by former television journalist Campbell Brown filed a lawsuit in New York on Monday that seeks to overturn the state’s tenure laws and other job protections for teachers.

The legal challenge in New York comes a month after a Los Angeles judge struck down teacher tenure and other related California laws that offer job security to educators, a decision that is triggering similar actions around the country.

Brown, a former CNN anchor who founded the Partnership for Educational Justice, contends that job protections for teachers are archaic and make it difficult for school systems to get rid of incompetent teachers.

The lawsuit argues that poor, minority students are more likely than more affluent peers to be taught by weak teachers, a claim similar to the California case.

http://go.uen.org/1BF

 

http://go.uen.org/1BQ (Chalkbeat)

 

 

 

 

Why a New Jersey school district decided giving laptops to students is a terrible idea Hechinger Report

 

Inside Hoboken’s combined junior-senior high school is a storage closet. Behind the locked door, mothballed laptop computers are strewn among brown cardboard boxes. Others are stacked one atop another amid other computer detritus. Dozens more are stored on mobile computer carts, many of them on their last legs.

That’s all that remains from a failed experiment to assign every student a laptop in this northern New Jersey suburb of New York City. It began five years ago with an unexpected windfall of stimulus money from Washington, D.C., and good intentions to help the districts’ students, the majority of whom are under or near the poverty line, keep up with their wealthier peers. But Hoboken faced problem after problem and is abandoning the laptops entirely this summer.

“We had the money to buy them, but maybe not the best implementation,” said Mark Toback, the current superintendent of Hoboken School District. “It became unsustainable.”

None of the school administrators who initiated Hoboken’s one-to-one laptop program still work there, but Toback agreed to share Hoboken’s experiences so that other schools can learn from it.

http://go.uen.org/1BO

 

 

 

 

More Schools Open Their Doors to the Whole Community States and Towns Deliver an Array of Government Services on Campus Wall Street Journal

 

WYOMING, Mich.—On a recent weekday here, a steady stream of people dropped by one central location for food stamps, family counseling and job ideas—their local school.

While instruction has ended for the summer, these classrooms remain open as part of a wider trend around the country of “community schools,” where public and private groups bring services closer to students and residents year round and, in some cases, help boost student performance.

With backing at local, state and federal levels, the decades-old idea for improving schools and neighborhoods is gaining ground despite some funding uncertainties and doubts about community schools’ success.

http://go.uen.org/1BP

 

 

 

Temple University scraps SAT requirement for new students Reuters

 

Philadelphia’s Temple University said on Tuesday it will no longer require prospective students to submit a standardized test score when they apply, joining a small but growing group of schools that believe there are other ways to gauge talent.

Temple said it is the first public research university in the United States’ Northeast to broaden its admissions policy in this way. Most U.S. schools still rely on students’ SAT or ACT test scores when choosing whom to admit.

A prospective student’s high-school grade point average, class rank or even his or her “grit, self-determination and self-confidence” may all be better predictors of success in higher education, Temple said in its announcement.

Although applicants can still submit test scores if they choose, they will also be allowed to write short answers to what the school called “self-reflective” questions as an alternative.

http://go.uen.org/1BJ

 

 

 

 

Georgia school officials sued in Kendrick Johnson’s gym death CNN

 

The family of Kendrick Johnson filed a wrongful death lawsuit against school officials claiming their lack of action led to his death at the hands of another student.

Johnson’s body was found in a rolled-up mat in the Lowndes High School gymnasium on January 11, 2013.

His parents earlier filed a negligence lawsuit against the south Georgia school district claiming it was negligent and violated Johnson’s constitutional right to equal protection based on race. Johnson, 17 when he died, was African-American.

The new lawsuit accuses the Lowndes County Board of Education, its superintendent and the high school principal of ignoring reports that Johnson was repeatedly attacked and harassed by a white student.

http://go.uen.org/1BV

 

 

 

E-Cigarettes Cloud Schools’ Anti-Smoking Policies Education Week

 

For decades schools have been on the front lines in a successful campaign to reduce teenage cigarette smoking. Now, some educators find themselves developing policies to control students’ use of e-cigarettes, devices which are still unregulated at the federal level that many fear could revive smoking among adolescents.

Otherwise known as “vape pens,” “cloud pens,” and by other names, e-cigarettes are undoubtedly catching the eye of teenagers, and of even younger children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2013 that the percentage of students in grades 6-12 who had tried e-cigarettes more than doubled between 2011 and 2012, growing from 3.3 percent to 6.8 percent. About 160,000 of the 1.78 million students who had experimented with electronic cigarettes as of 2012 had never used conventional cigarettes.

Thirty-eight states prohibit the sale of the product to minors, but e-cigarettes and other Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), aside from those marketed for therapeutic purposes, are unregulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. A rule proposed by the FDA on April 24, if passed, would include devices like electronic cigarettes under the category of tobacco products, allowing them to be regulated as such. The comment period for the proposed rule ends August 8.

http://go.uen.org/1BM

 

 

 

 

Miss. a national leader in negotiating school lunch prices Jackson (MS) Clarion-Ledger

 

 

WASHINGTON – Mississippi is well-prepared to meet new federal nutrition regulations regarding school lunches, a state education department official said Wednesday.

Mississippi’s Statewide Purchasing Cooperative helped the state negotiate lower prices for nutritious foods, avoiding the struggle other states have gone through serving meals that meet new federal standards, Scott Clements, child nutrition director for the Mississippi Department of Education, told members of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee.

“We’ve been very fortunate in Mississippi,” Clements said. “We have a Legislature and state board of education (that) are both very cognizant of the challenges we have with nutrition in particular.”

http://go.uen.org/1BN

 

 

 

NYC Uses Food Trucks to Bring Summer Meals to Kids Associated Press

 

NEW YORK — Within minutes, the line at the food truck parked on a busy Queens thoroughfare extended several people deep. Hipster foodies looking to sample vegan pizzas or fusion tacos?

Nope, these were children, agonizing over whether to pick the ham-and- cheese or the peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches, the regular or chocolate milk.

It was part of a summer meals program that tries to make sure the children who qualify for free or reduced-price meals during the academic year don’t lose out just because school’s out.

Instead of the kids coming to where the food is, the food goes to where the kids are.

New York City’s Department of Education put its first truck in service a couple of years ago, and this year it has four – one that goes to Orchard Beach in the Bronx and three that go to a park and two library branches in Queens.

http://go.uen.org/1BL

 

 

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CALENDAR

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USOE Calendar

http://www.schools.utah.gov/main/CALENDAR.aspx

 

 

UEN News

http://www.uen.org

 

 

July 29:

Utah State Board of Education Superintendent Search Committee meeting

5 p.m., 250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

http://www.utah.gov/pmn/sitemap/notice/224797.html

 

 

August 8:

Utah State Board of Education meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

http://www.schools.utah.gov/board/Meetings/Agenda.aspx

 

 

August 14:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

http://go.uen.org/1pn

 

 

September 16:

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting

1 p.m., 210 Senate Building

http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2014&Com=APPEXE

 

 

September 17:

Education Interim Committee meeting

2:30 p.m., 30 House Building

http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2014&Com=INTEDU

 

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