Public ed disgrace

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In "Impact of mentoring in education" (Opinion, Feb. 28), Pamela Atkinson presented a compelling case for the importance of preschool education. Indeed, she demonstrates the life-long impact of effective education.

As an "adviser to the governor," I hope she will use her voice, not only with the governor, but also with the Legislature, to do something about Utah's disgraceful financial support for education.

Utah is not a poor state, but it ranks last in per-pupil education funding. Even Mississippi, the poorest state and one that periodically suffers from natural catastrophes such as hurricane Katrina, annually spends $8,119 per pupil, significantly more than Utah's $6,064.

If hiring more teachers to reduce class sizes, especially for the crucial years from preschool to third grade, requires an increase in taxes, or a reduction of expenditures for less-vital programs, so be it.

Ole R. Holsti

Salt Lake City