Proposed bill would use Roundtable to improve public education

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    By Robyne Griffith

    A new bill is being considered in the Senate that would call for an “Educational Roundtable” to assist the government in the improvement of public schools in Utah.

    Sen. D. Chris Buttars (R-West Jordan) introduced the formation of this committee into the Senate as Bill 54.

    This committee would consist of the governor, the state superintendent of schools, and two members from opposite parties in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

    Other appointed members representing various businesses and communities in Utah, as well as specialized programs in teaching, such as special and higher education, would be included.

    The Roundtable would assess the quality of different programs in the public schools, suggest ways to improve community and parental involvement, increase quality teaching, find proper funding for public education, provide safer schools and direct the building of new schools and the modifications of older ones.

    Professor Gae Lyn Henderson, a part-time instructor in the English Department and one who has children in the Utah public school system, said she believes this idea is good if the purpose is well defined.

    “There is sometimes a gap between what people in education feel and what politicians feel needs to happen. This would help to bridge that gap,” she said.

    If this bill passes, the Educational Roundtable would make formal reports yearly to the Legislature, the governor and the Board of Education. This bill would go into effect July 1, 2001.

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