12th Grade? Who Needs It? Asks a Utah GOP Lawmaker
February 15, 2010
(ChatahBox)—The State of Utah faces a massive $700-million budget shortfall and lawmakers are starting to eye unusual ways to save money. Although Republicans are not overly fond of so called federal government entitlements, such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and yes, even public education, this is the first time a state lawmaker has garnered support for a proposal to eliminate 12th grade. Republican state Sen. Chris Buttars, believes that the senior year of high school is a waste of taxpayers’ money, and he wants to get rid of it. And surprisingly, his plan has not been laughed off of the senate floor.
With U.S. students lagging behind other countries, particularly in math and science, can we afford as a nation to reduce the amount of education offered to our children? Sen. Buttars thinks so. After receiving criticism for his plan to eliminate 12th grade altogether, Buttars now says that students should be given an option. And he is proposing incentives to encourage students to graduate early, to save the state money.
Republican Sen. Howard A. Stephenson, co-chairman of the Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee supports Buttars’ plan. “The bottom line is saving taxpayer dollars while improving options for students,” said Stephenson.
But Debra Roberts, chairwoman of the Utah Board of Education, points out that the Utah school system has always had an early graduation option available to high school students. And she opposes lawmakers’ plans to push students out early.
Apparently Utah Republican lawmakers are offering their constituents some of that freedom tea party members are so fond of. The freedom to suffer without health insurance, the freedom for our seniors to live in poverty without the safety net of Social Security and Medicare and the freedom for our children to excel in their illiteracy, because of a deficient education system.
Source: LA Times