Representative calling for changes in funding for public education

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The legislature is looking at a new way to fund public education in Utah.

Rep. John Dougall, R-American Fork, is calling for education saving accounts to replace traditional state education funding.  With the savings accounts, high school students can spend money on various classes outside of the school district, such as online or charter school classes.

Rep. Dougall, says this would give students and parents more flexibility in determining the student’s education path.  Money left in the savings account after high school could also be used for college.

“They are going to be facing choices their whole life,” said Rep. John Dougall, R-American Fork.  “Wouldn’t it be wonderful, within this controlled environment of public education, to enable them and teach them how to effectively evaluate educational services and courses that are there, such that when they get off to college and post secondary, they’ve got a better understanding and can make better decisions.”

Critics say this bill is unnecessary as students are already doing this and it is treating education like a market place.  Additionally, students would lose out on the feeling that they are accepted at school and have school spirit.

After discussion on Wednesday, the issue was placed on hold by committee members and it will not be decided in this session.

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