The Utah Legislature will finish up their session for the year tonight (yeah!). Another year of struggling to fund everything and decide where the money is to be spent. Even though our state has a surplus of money, it is still push and shove to get funding for education, although it will get a financial boost this year. However, there is also talk about funding teacher raises according to how their students are performing. In a perfect world, that may work. But most of us in education know that teachers in at-risk schools work very hard, often without parental support, to help the children make small gains. There are also many more affluent schools who have students that will achieve (because of status and parental support) regardless of how good the teacher teaches. It is irresponsible to decide that the teacher in the affluent school should get a bigger raise.
Our governor is also talking all-day kindergarten for at-risk children. A good idea for helping the disadvantaged. At-risk children always need more support, which not only includes opportunity, but also well-trained teachers. At-risk children should have the best teachers, not the left-over teachers and they need to be compensated appropriately.