Education News Roundup: Feb. 24, 2017

Today’s Top Picks:

Our Schools Now talks more details on a potential tax increase for schools.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9ck (SLT)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9cm (DN)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9cL (KSL)

Most Utah schools say the new transgender bathroom reversal means nothing.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9cl (SLT)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9cn (DN)

Will the Supreme Court be the next stop for a transgender bathroom ruling?
http://gousoe.uen.org/9cr (USAT)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9cQ (Ed Week)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9cs (Reuters)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9cP (AP)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Plan takes shape for spending Our Schools Now tax money
Our Schools Now > Initiative group hopes to reward schools that demonstrate proficiency, graduation-rate success.

House urges later start times for high schools

Bill That Guarantees Math And Science Teachers Extra Pay Moves To Senate

Legislature sends governor bill to phase out solar income-tax credit

Most Utah school districts say Trump transgender-bathroom reversal changes nothing, but one applauds move
Federal guidance > Most districts say they will address their students’ needs on a case-by-case basis, as always.

Salt Lake Magazine Takes On Sex Education in Utah

Get Real: Business program teaches high school students entrepreneurial thinking

Utah teen who fired shotgun inside school sentenced to secure juvenile facility
Courts > Boy will be released from secure treatment facility in less than a year, his attorney believes.

Former Grantsville High Football Coach Charged With Witness Tampering
Prosecutor says Curtis Ware pressured 17 year old accuser to say she was lying

Ogden ex-teacher out on bail in child sexual abuse case

Weber boundary proposals affect 2 elementaries, district plans for new school

Students, community “excited” about new gym

Inside our schools

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Teaching old dogs new tricks

Scoops, scoops and more scoops!

Bullying coaches set bad example for kids

Calling Off the Bathroom Cops

Trump Will Lose the Fight Over Bathrooms for Transgender Students

NATION

Supreme Court could pull plug on transgender bathroom case

Bathroom Case Puts Transgender Student on National Stage

Other Nations Shaking Heads at US Transgender Toilet Battle

Betsy DeVos: ‘Education Establishment’ Has Blocked Efforts to Fix Schools

Betsy DeVos is Publicly Polite, but a Political Fighter

US public schools take steps to protect undocumented students

Ellen gives entire senior class college scholarships

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UTAH NEWS
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Plan takes shape for spending Our Schools Now tax money
Our Schools Now > Initiative group hopes to reward schools that demonstrate proficiency, graduation-rate success.

Since the launch of the Our Schools Now ballot initiative in November, organizers have emphasized that an individual school’s slice of $750 million would hinge on improved performance.
But beyond raising Utah’s income tax from 5 percent to 5.875 percent, the initiative has been short on specifics for how schools would spend the infusion of cash.
On Thursday, Our Schools Now shared the draft elements of its performance plan, which would see all schools receive additional funding on a per-student basis for the first two years after the tax hike. After that, schools would need to increase proficiency rates, graduation rates and college-readiness rates by 1 percent each year to receive a full share of per-student funds.
“They can’t be expected to make this miraculous change the first year out,” Our Schools Now committee member Bob Marquardt said. “By the third year, we should start seeing some difference from this.”
Marquardt said the initiative is still gathering information and that nothing is set in stone. But the effort, if successful, would create a new funding account to be dispersed when schools satisfy performance requirements.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9ck (SLT)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9cm (DN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9cL (KSL)

 

House urges later start times for high schools

At a stage of the Legislature when many lawmakers are sleep deprived and living largely on caffeine and sugar, they decided Thursday that they want teenagers to get more sleep.
The House voted 46-28 to pass HCR9, encouraging school districts to consider later start times for high school students.
Rep. Carol Moss, D-Holladay, a retired school teacher, sponsored the nonbinding resolution, saying that discipline was never her biggest problem with high school students, it was having them fall asleep in early classes.
The resolution noted that teens ages 15 to 19 require more than nine hours of sleep per night, but fewer than 10 percent of them actually get that much. Utah high schools tend to start at 7:30 a.m. or earlier, with students often going to sports practices or early morning LDS seminary before the first bell.
Some lawmakers opposed the bill, saying it would make after-school activities and jobs more difficult, and would complicate school bus routes.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9ci (SLT)

 

Bill That Guarantees Math And Science Teachers Extra Pay Moves To Senate

A bill that ensures math and science teachers get extra pay passed out of a State Senate Committee Wednesday Night.
The idea is that math and science teachers need a little more incentive to stick around. $5,200 to be exact.
The yearly bonus is meant to deter qualified teachers from leaving jobs that school districts have a hard time filling.
“Subjects that were hard to fill because of the competition in the industry,” says Republican Representative Kay Christofferson, the sponsor of H.B. 108.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9cM (KUER)

 

Legislature sends governor bill to phase out solar income-tax credit

Senators on Thursday gave final approval to a bill that will phase out an income tax credit for installation of rooftop solar.
HB23 passed 22-2. It already won approval of the House and now goes to Gov. Gary Herbert for final action.
Currently, the state allows up to a $2,000 credit as an incentive for going solar. HB23 will reduce that by $400 a year until it is eliminated Jan. 1, 2022.
The change, “reduces credit, which increases state revenue,” said Sen. Curtis Bramble, R-Provo, the Senate sponsor of HB23.
A fiscal note says the phase-out will mean an extra $5.4 million in education funding by fiscal year 2020.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9cj (SLT)

 

Most Utah school districts say Trump transgender-bathroom reversal changes nothing, but one applauds move
Federal guidance > Most districts say they will address their students’ needs on a case-by-case basis, as always.

Though at least one Utah school district is cheering President Donald Trump’s withdrawal of a federal directive to public schools to let transgender students choose which restroom they use, most others say it changes nothing.
Canyons, Granite, Jordan and Weber school districts say they will continue addressing the needs of their students on a case-by-case basis – as they did before President Barack Obama’s 2016 “Dear Colleague” letter set guidelines for public schools to allow transgender students to use the restrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9cl (SLT)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9cn (DN)

 

Salt Lake Magazine Takes On Sex Education in Utah

Sex education can be a controversial top in the Beehive State and a new series of articles in Salt Lake Magazine says no place is less knowledgeable than Utah.
Kristin Hodson, sex and relationship therapist, and Glen Warchol, Managing Editor at Salt Lake Magazine explain why they decided this issue was worthy of in-depth coverage.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9cU (KTVX)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9cV (Salt Lake Magazine)

Get Real: Business program teaches high school students entrepreneurial thinking

Tom Stone can’t believe this decades-old dream is actually happening.
A “real-life skills” entrepreneurship idea that started as a side conversation in community council meetings is now a reality for hundreds of high school students in the Wasatch County School District.
Months later, Stone still feels elated.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9cW (Utah Business)

 

Utah teen who fired shotgun inside school sentenced to secure juvenile facility
Courts > Boy will be released from secure treatment facility in less than a year, his attorney believes.

Farmington * A 15-year-old boy who admitted firing a shotgun into a classroom ceiling at his Bountiful junior high in December before his parents wrestled him to the floor was sentenced Thursday to spend time in a secure juvenile treatment facility.
Because the case was resolved in the juvenile court, it was the maximum sentence 2nd District Juvenile Court Judge Janice Frost could impose.
The length of time the teen remains in the custody of Juvenile Justice Services will be determined by the Youth Parole Authority. He could be held until he is 21 years old but defense attorney Lindsay Jarvis said outside court that she thinks he will be released in less than a year.
“It’s a good resolution,” Jarvis said.
The teen pleaded guilty on Feb. 13 to third-degree felony shooting toward a building and second-degree felony theft of a firearm. Several other firearms-related charges were dismissed as part of a plea deal.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9cv (SLT)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9cw (DN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9cx (OSE)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9cy (DCC)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9cE (LHJ)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9cI (KUTV)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9cB (KTVX)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9cz (KSL)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9cA (KSTU)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9cT (Ed Week)

Former Grantsville High Football Coach Charged With Witness Tampering
Prosecutor says Curtis Ware pressured 17 year old accuser to say she was lying

TOOELE – Former Grantsville High School Head Football Coach Curtis Ware was already accused of sexual abusing an underage female student. Now he’s behind bars and charged with witness tampering.
The 48 year old former coach and teacher was specifically ordered not to have contact with the 17 year old accuser by Judge Robert Adkins but Tooele County Prosecutor Gary K. Searle says Ware recently began messaging her on Instagram.
“Within the past couple of weeks, Mr. Ware has had not only electronic media contact with the victim,” Searle told ABC4 Utah News. “But physical contact with the victim..where he, in our opinion. was pressuring her into lying and creating what today in court was called “a plan” in order to get the initial case dismissed.”
Thursday on the witness stand, the accuser said Ware picked her up in his truck on two occasions and drove her to the mountains. The second time he talked about his pending case. During her testimony she said “He was saying things like how he didn’t want to go to prison”, “just say it didn’t happen” and “say ‘I made this up’.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9cK (KTVX)

 

Ogden ex-teacher out on bail in child sexual abuse case

OGDEN – A former Ogden special education teacher charged with sexually abusing two teenage girls is out on bail pending his next court appearance.
Second District Court records show Drew Daniel Tutt, 28, posted $22,000 bail and was released from Weber County Jail on Feb. 9, three days after his arrest by Weber County sheriff’s deputies. Tutt’s next court appearance is March 8 before Judge Brent West.
The Weber County Attorney’s Office has filed four felony charges against Tutt: two counts of sexual abuse of a minor student and two counts of enticing a minor by the internet or text message. He also faces two misdemeanor counts of unlawful detention of a minor.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9cC (OSE)

 

Weber boundary proposals affect 2 elementaries, district plans for new school

WEST HAVEN – Weber School District boundary adjustment proposals will only affect Kanesville and Country View elementary schools, the district said Wednesday.
At an open house attended by roughly 100 people Wednesday evening, Cami Alexander, the district’s executive director of elementary education, explained the boundary change would move about 140 students from Kanesville Elementary, which is overcrowded, to Country View Elementary.
Alexander said while it was initially an option, West Haven Elementary School’s boundaries won’t change.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9cD (OSE)

 

Students, community “excited” about new gym

Progress on Virgin Valley high School’s new gym is being made … even if it appears to be doing so slowly.
Construction equipment and dug-out trenches can be seen at the site of the future athletic arena, which school officials expect to be completed by the end of October.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9cG (SGS)

 

Inside our schools

Arrowhead Elementary
Millcreek High
Three Peaks Elementary
South Elementary
East Elementary
Cedar North Elementary
Cedar Middle
http://gousoe.uen.org/9cH (SGS)

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Teaching old dogs new tricks
Utah Policy commentary by columnist Bob Bernick

If you keep your eyes open at the Utah Legislature, you can always learn something new.
This even applies to an old dog like me – who has covered lawmakers for 37 years. (Yes, I was a child reporter.)
Take, for example, HJR15, introduced by House budget chair Dean Sanpei, R-Provo, on Thursday.
Now, Sanpei is a nice guy. And when I asked him about one small part of the huge HJR15, he didn’t know. So he went and asked the expert on legislative rules on staff: Jerry Howe.
And I found out something new: To whit, there has ALWAYS been a rule that allowed bosses in the House and Senate to call a joint standing committee to deal, at the same time, with similar bills.
Now, this has never been done in my 37 years of covering the Legislature, and Howe says to his knowledge it has never happened at all.
But if legislative bosses ever decided to actually call such a joint standing committee of House and Senate members – well – some controversial bills could be moved very quickly in the always-jammed-packed final days of the 45-day sessions.
This could happen: A bill introduced one day, 24 hours later a joint standing committee is held for a public hearing, the next day the bill passes the House, and the next day the bill passes the Senate.
Slam, bam, thank you, mam!
http://gousoe.uen.org/9ch

 

Scoops, scoops and more scoops!
Utah Policy commentary by columnists by Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick

UtahPolicy.com broke a lot of stories this last week. Lawmakers are getting tired of us asking questions about things we’re not supposed to know about.
Legislators have more money to spend this year to the tune of $100 million. That will help, but it won’t nearly be enough to go around.
A big tax reform package is being whittled down to just include restoring the state portion of the sales tax on food and a slight change to the gas tax.
The group pushing for a tax increase to pay for public schools could stick around for a while longer than originally thought.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9cg (audio)

Bullying coaches set bad example for kids
(Logan) Herald Journal letter from Heath Worley

Bullying is an epidemic sweeping through the valley; manipulation by physical or mental distress for personal gratification, control, and or power. Lessons taught to the youth illustrate plans to actively engage in behavior altering ideas to prevent being bullied or the bully. Ironically, the lessons taught to the youth are quickly forgotten by many adults.
We encourage the youth to find positive role models who promote acceptance, tolerance, and building up not tearing down.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9cF

 

Calling Off the Bathroom Cops
Wall Street Journal commentary

University of San Diego Law Professor Gail Heriot on why the Trump administration rescinded an Obama-era transgender regulation.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9co (video)

 

Trump Will Lose the Fight Over Bathrooms for Transgender Students
New York Times op-ed by RIA TABACCO MAR, a staff lawyer for the A.C.L.U.’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and H.I.V. Project

On Wednesday evening, the Departments of Education and Justice, at the direction of President Trump, withdrew important guidance that required schools to treat transgender boys and girls like other boys and girls under Title IX, the 1972 federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education.
In a oneandahalfpage letter, the government unceremoniously retreated from a position – that transgender students may not be excluded from restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity – that the Department of Education had held for at least four years. Despite those years of experience, the government claims that it needs to “further and more completely consider the legal issues involved.”
But there is nothing new about the idea that sex discrimination includes discrimination against transgender people. To the contrary, courts have repeatedly reached that conclusion over the past 15 years in decisions that involve prisons, banks, the workplace and, yes, schools. That’s because it’s impossible to take into account someone’s transgender status or gender identity – their internal sense of being male, female or something else – without taking into account their sex. Indeed, transgender people are defined by the fact that their gender identity does not match the sex given to them at birth.
By insisting that more study is warranted to decide whether transgender students should be treated fairly, the government has sent a deeply disturbing message to transgender students that they are less than other students and unworthy of protection.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9cp

 

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Supreme Court could pull plug on transgender bathroom case
USA Today

WASHINGTON – The Trump administration’s reversal of a rule on transgender students’ rights could remove the controversial issue from the Supreme Court’s docket this spring – or lead the justices to render an even more significant ruling.
A Virginia high school senior’s legal battle to use the bathroom of his choice was slated to be heard before the high court next month. Wednesday, administration officials withdrew guidance issued under President Obama that instructed the nation’s school districts to let transgender students use bathrooms corresponding to their chosen gender.
A federal appeals court in Richmond relied on that guidance last year in ruling that Gavin Grimm should be permitted to use the boys’ bathroom at his Gloucester County school, and the school district promptly appealed to the Supreme Court. Now that the policy has been eliminated, the justices face a choice of whether to vacate that decision and send the case back or decide on their own which bathrooms are suitable under a 1972 federal law prohibiting sex discrimination?
The first thing they did Thursday was predictable: The court gave lawyers on both sides six days to submit their views on how best to proceed.
Their choice is complicated by the timing of the Trump administration’s directive, coming five weeks before the case was to be heard and on the same day that Grimm’s lawyers submitted their 62-page legal brief. The high court could send the case back to Richmond as early as next week, or it could hear oral arguments March 28 before deciding, in essence, whether to decide.
In the background as they weigh those options, the eight justices know they remain shorthanded and in danger of deadlocking 4-4 until Trump’s nominee for the vacant ninth seat, federal appeals court Judge Neil Gorsuch, goes before the Senate for confirmation in April. In the case of such a tie, the court likely would rehear the case when it’s back at full strength.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9cr

http://gousoe.uen.org/9cQ (Ed Week)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9cs (Reuters)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9cP (AP)

 

Bathroom Case Puts Transgender Student on National Stage
New York Times

WASHINGTON – The bespectacled teenager in the gray A.C.L.U. hoodie and cargo pants stood, back pressed against a chainlink fence on Pennsylvania Avenue, under a sign saying “No Trespassing, Authorized Personnel Only.” The White House, illuminated at night, cast a glow over wellwishers who, having just wrapped up a protest against President Trump, waited in line to pay homage to 17yearold Gavin Grimm.
Mr. Grimm looked a little flustered. “Absolutely humbled,” he pronounced himself, as his admirers thanked him for being brave.
With Mr. Trump’s decision this week to rescind protections for transgender students that allowed them to use bathrooms corresponding with their gender identity, the next stop is the Supreme Court, where Mr. Grimm – an engaging yet slightly awkward young man – is the lead plaintiff in a case that could settle the contentious “bathroom debate.”
Amid a thicket of conflicting state laws and local school policies on bathroom use, the suit, which pits Mr. Grimm against his school board in Gloucester County, Va., could greatly expand transgender rights – or roll them back.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9cq

 

Other Nations Shaking Heads at US Transgender Toilet Battle
Associated Press

DUBLIN — Coming out as a transgender boy brought untold relief to Irish student Lucas Cross. After years of holding it in, he could finally start using the boys’ restrooms at school – because Ireland, like some other parts of the world, doesn’t make a federal issue about where children do their business.
As Donald Trump and U.S. courts seek to make transgender use of toilets an American battleground in schools , the more progressive corners of Europe and Latin America are shaking their heads in bewilderment. From Tipperary to Tierra del Fuego, schools let children go to the bathroom that suits their identity, a trend that could be reversed if the bitter U.S. debate travels overseas.
“What happens in the U.S. has a cultural impact here, and it’s scary,” said Catherine Cross, Lucas’ mother, who helps Irish schools nationwide set policies on how to support transgender students. “There’s always going to be people who are frightened of change. It could give them license to shout louder when they see what’s going on in the States.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/9cu

 

Betsy DeVos: ‘Education Establishment’ Has Blocked Efforts to Fix Schools
Education Week

Oxon Hill, Md. — U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos urged conservative activists Thursday to help her fight against the “education establishment,” which she said has blocked students from getting access to school choice and quality schools.
“Our nation’s test scores have flatlined,” DeVos told a roomful at the Conservative Political Action Conference, sponsored by the American Conservative Union. “The education establishment has been blocking the doorway to reforms, fixes, and improvements for a generation. … This not a Left or Right issue. This is an American issue. We need education to work for every child. … We have a unique window of opportunity to make school choice a reality for millions of families.”
It’s unclear how President Donald Trump and DeVos plan to move forward on their school choice vision. Trump pitched a $20 billion voucher program on the campaign trail, but that might be difficult to pass in Congress. Choice advocates are more optimistic about the prospects of extending federal tax credits to corporations and individuals that donate to scholarship-granting organizations.
And DeVos-who was greeted at the conference with cheers and shouts of “We love you!”-criticized the Obama administration’s now defunct School Improvement Grant program, saying it cost more than $7 billion, but that there’s no evidence that it improved student results.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9ct

http://gousoe.uen.org/9cN (WaPo)

 

Betsy DeVos is Publicly Polite, but a Political Fighter
New York Times

Hours before President Trump rescinded a federal policy allowing transgender students to use the school bathrooms that match their gender identities, his education secretary, Betsy DeVos, met with a representative of gay and transgender
employees at the Education Department to warn of what was coming.
In her presence, an aide assured the employee that, as was widely reported, Ms. DeVos had resisted the move, according to people briefed on the Wednesday meeting. Yet she gave no public sign that there had been a rift within the Trump administration, or that she had come up short. She joined in the announcement of the new policy, and on Thursday, she told the annual Conservative Political Action Conference that the earlier federal guidelines were “a very huge example of the Obama administration’s overreach.”
But people who have known and watched Ms. DeVos through the years – as a leading advocate of charter schools and school vouchers, a former Michigan Republican Party chairwoman and a major Republican donor – warn against thinking that she will be a meek team player. She may be publicly gracious, even in the face of setbacks, they say. But in her home state, she earned a reputation as a driven, relentless and effective political fighter, using her family’s vast fortune to reward allies and punish foes, and working behind the scenes to pass legislation and unseat lawmakers who opposed her.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9cR

 

US public schools take steps to protect undocumented students
CNN

Chicago Public Schools say they will deny federal immigration agents access to district buildings and personnel unless served with a criminal warrant, the latest in a series of steps taken by US school officials to protect undocumented students.
School districts from Pennsylvania to California have stepped up efforts to allay fear and uncertainty in immigrant communities over Trump administration directives that would significantly expand the power of immigration officers and could set the stage for mass detentions and deportations.
After a December resolution affirming its commitment to a “safe and welcoming” teaching environment for all students, Chicago Public Schools this week sent a memo to principals who “expressed concern and anxiety” about immigration issues and guidance on handling interactions with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“To be very clear, CPS does not provide assistance to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the enforcement of federal civil immigration law,” Tuesday’s memo said.
“Therefore, ICE should not be permitted access to CPS facilities or personnel except in the rare instance in which we are provided with a criminal warrant.”
Some students welcomed the news.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9cS

Ellen gives entire senior class college scholarships
USA Today

In her show’s biggest gift ever, Ellen DeGeneres gave seniors at Summit Academy Charter School full rides to college.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9cO (video)

 

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

USBE Legislative Tracking Sheet
http://www.schools.utah.gov/law/Legislative-Session.aspx

UEN News
http://www.uen.org

February 24:

House Transportation Committee meeting
7:30 a.m., 450 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/~2017/agenda/HTRA0224.ag.htm

House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee meeting
8 a.m., 30 House Building
http://le.utah.gov/~2017/agenda/HLAW0224.ag.htm

Senate Government Operations and Political Subdivisions Committee meeting
8 a.m., 415 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/~2017/agenda/SGOP0224.ag.htm

Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee meeting
9 a.m., 250 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/~2017/agenda/SREV0224.ag.htm

Utah State Charter School Board meeting
6 p.m., 250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://schools.utah.gov/charterschools/State-Board.aspx

February 27:

Senate Education Committee meeting
8 a.m., 210 Senate Building
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2017&Com=SSTEDU

House Education Committee meeting
4:10 p.m., 30 House Building
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2017&Com=HSTEDU

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting
6 p.m., 210 Senate Building
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2017&Com=APPEXE

March 9:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting
250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.schools.utah.gov/charterschools/State-Board.aspx

March 13:

Utah State Board of Education meeting
250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.boarddocs.com/ut/usbe/Board.nsf/Public

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