Business leaders and government officials on Thursday announced formation of a joint effort to create a detailed plan for improving education in Utah and building a coalition that will push the changes through the Utah Legislature.
The initiative is aimed at improving science, technology, engineering and math education with the goal of creating a workforce that will make the Wasatch Front into one of the top areas of the nation for technology companies and the good-paying jobs that they bring.
Utah has the lowest per-pupil spending on K-12 education in the nation, and Chet Linton, CEO and president of the School Improvement Network of Midvale, said part of the discussions will be about adding additional resources to the system.
Gov. Gary Herbert helped to announce the group that will be led by Stan Lockhart, public affairs director for IM Flash Technologies, one of the state’s top-tier high-tech companies. Pointing to technology jobs in the state that are going unfilled for lack of workers with the right education and skills, Herbert said creating a bigger highly educated workforce was "a necessity."
The formation of a detailed plan and funding may take a year or two, said Lockhart, with participants expecting to build a political coalition that will then help push it through the Legislature. Salt Lake Tribune