Election Day is coming up, and with education being one of the main focuses of Utah’s state government, here is a look at the congressional candidates’ differing views on the subject.
Utah County is split between the 3rd and 4th Congressional Districts. In the 3rd Congressional District, Jason Chaffetz represents the Republican Party, while Brian Wonnacott represents the Democratic Party.
“Education is a state and local responsibility and more importantly a parental responsibility,” according to Chaffetz’s website.
According to his website which outlines his views, Chaffetz believes that the federal government should not interfere in education.
“We should let states, school districts, charter schools, and parents determine how education should be administered and delivered,” he said.
Chaffetz believes that the educational problems Utah faces are unique to Utah and should not be handled on a federal level. He also opposes the No Child Left Behind act.
Wonnacott agrees that No Child Left Behind should be repealed, but he believes that Common Core is a good alternative and stresses that it is not a federal mandate.
“The Federal Government did not participate in the creation of the standards, and the standards do not tie the state to any federal programs,” Wonnacott said to The Daily Herald. “The state is free to change the Core Standards at any time.”
Wonnacott also believes that Utah should be funding education.
“Companies and the families they would bring to Utah are concerned about moving to Utah when they see how poorly education is funded,” Wonnacott said.
In the 4th Congressional District, which is predicted to be the closest race, Republican Mia Love is running against Democrat Doug Owens.
Owens wants to decrease federal involvement in education and believes that education should be left up to parents, teachers and administrators.
“I will be a strong, independent voice as I fight against a Washington-based, one-size-fits-all approach to education,” Owens said on his website.
Owens also wants to make higher education more accessible to students in Utah.
“Advanced career training and higher education are vital to strengthening Utah’s economy and reviving the middle class,” he said. “While college is becoming increasingly more important for young people entering today’s workforce, many Utahns find that college is just beyond their reach.”
Love’s views are similar in that she wants to lower the cost of higher education to make it more accessible.
Love said on her website that she wants to “bring down the cost of college tuition by allowing schools to compete for students and not allowing a federal government takeover of higher education.”
Love believes that federal involvement in education should come to an end.
“I trust Utah teachers and Utah parents over Washington bureaucrats,” she said.
Despite a few differences, all candidates appear to agree that there should be no more federal involvement in Utah’s education.
Voting begins at 7 a.m. and goes until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, November 4th.