This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
As the school year approaches, I have talked to many teachers who are dreading going back. This isn't because they don't enjoy teaching or their association with the students, but because of the circumstances under which they have to teach.
It is the politics of it, the large class sizes, being forced to spend their own money on needed supplies for the children, and the general under-appreciation for the job they do.
Yet, if you were to ask these teachers who gets their support when election time rolls around you would find that they tend to vote for the same people who continually put education last on their priority list. The old adage that "you cannot keep doing the same thing and expect different results" applies here.
Our legislators have no incentive to do better by our schools because they know they will never be held accountable. In fact, I believe there are those who would like to see public schools fail so that they can privatize them and reap the profits for themselves or their associates.
Until people in this state start to vote for candidates based on their performance rather than on the party they represent nothing will change.