To: Francis Gibson, Lowry Snow, Patrice Arent, Richard Cunningham, Steve Eliason, Greg Hughes, Brad Last, David Lifferth, Daniel McCay, Carol Moss, Jim Nielson, Val Peterson, Marie Poulson, Kraig Powell, Dean Sanpei, Keven John Stratton,
Subject: Regarding HB 131
Date: Thu Feb 20 18:19:53 MST 2014
Dear Education Committee Members,
I am writing because I am greatly concerned about a bill that has come to my attention, HB 131 or the Public Education Modernization Act. Please, please, do not let this bill go out of committee. It would wreak havoc.
This bill would give a third party access to discipline problems, parental involvement, and requires data to be put into the SLDS (Statewide Longitudinal Database System). This tramples the privacy of students and parents. The only people who should have that data are the parents and the teachers working with the parents to resolve issues. No one else needs or should have individual-specific data like that.
This bill would also put one-to-one mobile devices (iPads) into the hands of students. This has been tried already and is an absolute fiasco: http://www.scpr.org/programs/airtalk/2013/09/30/33969/lausd-superintendent-john-deasy-on-the-ipad-progra/
Finally, this would cost an inordinate amount of money, estimated at $200,000,000, although this may not be nearly enough, given what we can learn from the financial disaster in the paragraph above. Others estimate it would take $750,000,000 the first year and $300,000,000 the year after that (see http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/57543035-90/board-education-governor-lockhart.html.csp) Where will all this come from? I believe we would be much better off to use this money (if it exists) to fund Utah educational programs and decrease our reliance on federal money.
For these reasons, I strongly oppose this bill and beg you to do the same.
Thank you for your time,