Utah for Local Education

Education Legislation - 2015

Keep track of the bills critical to local control of education for the 2015 Legislative Session

This material is not meant to be an all encompassing list of education bills, but those most critical to local control.

We do our best to keep this page updated, but the official Utah State Legislature website (http://le.utah.gov/) is the primary source for the most up to date information on the bills listed below. Be sure to check the Legislature's website for official information, particularly committee meeting times and bill status. Schedules for the House and Senate Education Committees, as well as contact information for committee members, can be found through our State Education Committees page.

The Legislature's website also includes a useful bill Tracking Service that will automatically inform you of updates to bills (http://le.utah.gov/asp/billtrack/track.asp).

Utahns Against Common Core maintains a list of bills for the legislative session which you can find here: http://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/2015-legislation/.

State Legislation

Contacting your elected officials regarding critical issues is one of the most important steps we can take, especially during the legislative session.

Find the contact information for the House and Senate Education Committees here.
Find the contact information for your elected officials here.

Bill # Title Description Local Ed Stance Status Action
HB 54 Public Education Increased Funding Program This bill raises the state individual income tax from 5% to 6%. Even ignoring the many valid arguments that indicate funding is not the problem with education, raising the state income tax cannot close the funding gap Utah has with other states. See the data showing this in our paper Why don't Utahns care about Education? Oppose Failed in Committee None
SB 104 Education Elections and Reporting Amendments The current system for election of state school board members gives the Governor essentially complete control over who is selected and was recently found unconstitutional in court. This bill would change state school board elections to follow the partisan election process. Some have complained that making school board elections partisan will open them up to political influence, but as the largest expenditure in the state they are already the major political issue. This bill would remove the facade of non-partisanship and open candidates to the greater scrutiny of the caucus-convention system.
Update: The bill originally applied to local school board elections as well, but was amended to apply to only the state school board race.
Support Failed in the House 31-43-1 None
SJR 5 Amend Utah Constitution - State Board of Education Changes This bill would initiate a constitutional amendment to remove elections for State School Board members and instead the Governor would appoint board members personally. The State Board of Education oversees the largest expense in our entire state and needs to be responsible to the voters, not just a single person. Oppose Passed the Senate 24-5, but held in House. None
HB 128 Maintenance of Student Records This bill removes nearly all the current limitations on sharing student data for a number of issues. This would leave only Federal FERPA laws to protect students. FERPA does not protect our student’s data from the abuses our current law does. To take those protections away is to put our students at risk and violate their right to privacy. If this bill passes and FERPA ever gets repealed Utah will lose all student privacy protections. Basing State laws on Federal Laws usurps State sovereignty. This bill basically says we trust the Federal Government to make our student privacy laws for us. Oppose Passed both the House and Senate; signed by Governor. None
HB 113 Dual Enrollment Amendments This bill would expand the opportunities for students to dual enroll, thereby increasing the options available for parents to choose regarding their children's education. Support Not voted on by House Committee None
SB 204 Parental Rights in Public Education This bill officially clarifies that parents may opt their children out of "any summative, interim, or formative test that is not locally developed" or "any test that is federally mandated or mandated by the state." Also, that parents are not required to meet school officials or use any form other than a parent's written statement as a condition of opt-out. The bill also states the parent's written statement stays in effect until further notice. Support Passed both the House and Senate; signed by Governor. None
HCR 007 Resolution Urging Development of Methods to Minimize Excessive Testing and its Negative Impacts This is a great example of a nice sounding title, but serious problems buried in the details. This is especially true regarding local control as it calls to "maximize the integration of testing into an aligned curriculum." We support curriculum development at the local level, not uniformity for the entire state. Oppose Passed both the House and Senate; signed by Governor. None
HB 197 Educator Licensing Amendments This bill would allow outstanding candidates for administrative positions to have certain certificate requirements waived by the State School Board. Support Vetoed by the Governor None
HB 263 State School Board Powers Modifications This bill would redefine the Section of the State Constitution authorizing the State Board of Education. This redefinition would would give more power to the State Board, reducing opportunities for local control. The State Board currently has "general control and suprevision", but this bill would change that to "direct and manage the public education system". Oppose Failed in the House 12-62-1. None

Federal Legislation

We primarily focus on state and local legislation as we can impact those most effectively, however we will let you know of federal legislation if it has a substantial impact on education.

Bill # Title Description Local Ed Stance Action