Governor Visits UEA Board Meeting
On Feb. 3, Utah Governor Gary Herbert once again visited with the UEA Board of Directors at the UEA Office. The visit, at his request, was the second to the UEA Board during his term in office. It coincided with the Board’s regularly scheduled meeting.
The Governor began his comments to the Board by expressing his gratitude for teachers and the work they do across the state. He also said he believes the UEA and public education have a much stronger voice now than in recent years, a fact he attributes “in large part to the efforts of Sharon and those from the UEA who are reaching out” to business and political leaders.
“If you look at the budget I proposed, I think it shows my commitment to education,” noted Herbert. His education priorities for this year include funding growth, early intervention, all-day kindergarten, college preparation programs and the UtahFutures.org career preparation effort, he said.
“We need to get stronger voices in the legislature, people who will stand up for education, especially on the Republican side of the aisle,” said Herbert. “It starts with delegates. (The education community) needs to get more delegates that represent the majority of Utahns.”
He also urged the UEA to look for “stronger voices outside the education establishment” in an effort to promote public education. The Governor added that the “business community is on board,” pointing to efforts like Prosperity 2020 that seek additional education funding to support economic development.
“We cannot sustain (the state’s economic growth) unless we have an educated workforce,” said Herbert.
The Governor stressed the importance of everyone coming together in a “collaborative fashion” to reform Utah public education. He suggested that everyone should be asking the question: “What can we do collectively to improve education and prepare our students for the workplace of the future?”