Another Winning Moment for Bingham Miners at State Capitol

GOV_3212The Bingham Miners football team has had plenty of winning moments in the past year with another 5A state championship title and being ranked as high as 4th in the nation. Now they can add another memorable moment to their win column. The Miners were honored during a special ceremony at the Utah State Capitol. Governor Gary Herbert along with members of the House and Senate took time to congratulate the team and coaching staff for their amazing season and for establishing a record of success both on and off the playing field. We are proud of the many accomplishments achieved by the Bingham Miners. Enjoy a photo gallery on our Facebook page compliments of the Governor’s Office.

Board of Education Letter to Public Education Appropriations Committee

Public Education Appropriations Committee:

Screenshot 2015-02-04 10.11.56The Jordan District Board of Education appreciates the role which the legislature plays in the education process of our children. We have listened carefully to the Committee’s discussion of local replacement funding and have some concerns which revolve around issues of accountability and transparency.

  • When funding from districts to charters increases, district accountability also increases. But a problem arises from this situation. Local school boards, who have mandated authority to be watchmen over district funds, have absolutely no control over any charter school funding decision. We believe that the taxing entity which assesses the funds should have some input concerning how the funds are spent.
  • In reference to the transparency issue, local school boards are elected officials who have to answer to their constituents at the ballot box. Charter governing boards are not elected by the general public, and they have no such accountability. Streaming public funding through local school districts before it reaches charter schools decreases the voters’ understanding of how their taxpayer dollars are spent. Such a situation makes charter funding less transparent rather than more transparent. Voters become stakeholders who provide money, but have no knowledge or voice in how it is spent.
  • Funneling funds through the local school district creates a “middle man” which not only convolutes the accountability and transparency of the funds but also redirects resources with school districts. Districts must spend time and effort on something they have no control over and do not know the amount that must be redirected to charters until well after budget cycles are underway. Eliminating the local school district “middle man” would save taxpayer dollars in the form of district resources, as well as allowing districts to maintain stable and low property taxes.

As a beginning step to help resolve these concerns regarding accountability and transparency, the Public Education Appropriations Committee might consider recommending that charter school funding become an independent line item on the individual property tax notifications made each year by county officials, just as local school district funding is listed now. Taxpayers would then have a much clearer picture of how their public funds are allocated, and such an itemization would demonstrate the funding for which local school boards should be held accountable and which funding they should not.

Sincerely,
Susan Pulsipher, President
Janice L. Voorhies, Vice President
Kayleen Whitelock, Secretary
Jen Atwood, Board Member
J. Lynn Crane, Board Member
Richard S. Osborn, Board Member
Matthew Young, Board Member

Riverton High Sisters on Road to STEM Success

Screenshot 2015-02-04 12.25.57When Riverton High twin sisters, Grace and Maya Ethington, set their minds on achieving something, there’s often no stopping this dynamic duo. That was the case when they decided to develop a new student-friendly app for classmates at Riverton High. A love for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) already has these two teens on the road to success. Take a look at Grace and Maya’s story as reported by KUTV.

Students Win Best of State with Utah Hiking App

Some Jordan Applied Technology center (JATC) students are already on their way to becoming professional app designers. That’s because these young talented technology minds collaborated and designed an app, which will keep people from getting lost when hiking. Their hard work paid off because the app won Best in State at the high school level! Verizon held a contest, the Innovation App Challenge, which JATC students entered. More than 1,000 app concept submissions were received, so the contest was highly competitive. The JATC student app is called Trails of Utah. This app allows people to search for hiking trails that they might enjoy, see how far they are from the trailhead, read comments people have made about the trail and it’s even connected to social media. Because the students won Best in State, JATC will receive a plaque; the class will receive an exclusive invitation to a STEM event and will compete for the title of Best in Region. If they win, the app will be created and released. Congratulations on winning Best in State, and good luck in Best of Region!