Laura Seitz, The Deseret News FILE - Utah Gov. Gary Herbert reveals his plans for the state budget at Silicon Slopes in Lehi, Utah, on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018. Related Link Gov. Gary Herbert lashes out over killed public lands bills for Utah SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Gary Herbert wants to set aside an extra $5 million next year to ensure Utahns' right to an attorney even if they can't afford one. The potential boost to Utah's public defender system is "really a measured, calculated amount we need in this third year," said Joanna Landau, director of the Indigent Defense Commission. The governor's proposal, part of a larger budget plan he unveiled earlier this month, would expand the commission's bandwidth by about four times. Its current ongoing yearly budget is $1.3 million. The group was created two years ago and works with several Utah cities and counties to help provide attorneys to those who can't afford them. It also offers training and other resources. … [Read more...] about Utah Gov. Gary Herbert proposes big boost for public defender system
Utah parental rights
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has released a “guide” for parents to help them understand the information mandated by federal education law to be provided on their children’s report cards. “Parents deserve to know what is happening in their child’s school,” DeVos said in a statement announcing the new guide. She added: They should not have to parse through a 500-page legal document to understand how a law or policy affects their children’s education. This guide demonstrates our ongoing commitment to providing parents with user-friendly tools and the information necessary to make informed decisions. Informed parents become empowered and engaged parents who are able to better advocate on behalf of their children. Ironically, the federal “guide” is titled “A Parent Guide to State and Local Report Cards.” DeVos is advertising the guide as a means to achieve “transparency” about the accountability … [Read more...] about DeVos Releases ‘Guide’ for Parents to Understand Report Cards Mandated by Federal Law
A grassroots parent organizer in Utah says her state is a good example of how Betsy DeVos’s Department of Education is still forcing states to comply with federal mandates that go against the wishes of parents and elected officials. Autumn Foster Cook recalls at the Federalist what Republicans and Democrats alike told Americans after passing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in December 2015.The measure – signed into law immediately by former President Barack Obama, who referred to it as a “Christmas miracle,” was hailed for “supposedly ‘putting more control for our schools in state and local hands’ and ‘reducing reliance on high-stakes testing,’” writes Cook. “But as the law has been rolled out under U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, ideals have succumbed to reality,” she continues. “The law still forces states to play their maddening game of ‘Mother, May I?’ with the … [Read more...] about DeVos Education Department ‘Strongarms’ Utah Parents
(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.) David Pimentel, University of Idaho (THE CONVERSATION) Americans have long debated what constitutes good parenting. In 1928, John B. Watson advised parents to “never hug or kiss” their children. In 1946, Benjamin Spock urged parents to trust their instincts. A recent trend in this ongoing debate has focused on safety, favoring highly protective parenting. This new norm calls for constant supervision, driven in large part by fears of abduction, but also reflects a priority to protect children from any potential harm. Advocates of so-called free-range parenting have pushed back. They insist that overprotection does more harm than good, and that excessive hovering inhibits children’s development in a number of ways. The arguments in favor of free-range parenting are compelling, particularly because the dangers and fears driving more protective parenting … [Read more...] about Free-range parenting gets legal protection in Utah – but should the state dictate how to parent?
1 of 8 View 8 Items Spenser Heaps, Deseret News Siblings Cleo, 12, and Allan Hall, 10, take turns jumping over a ditch near their home in Midvale on Tuesday, March 27, 2018. Related Links Letter: 'Free-range parenting' and systemic abuse risks Utah governor signs law legalizing 'free-range parenting' Utah lawmakers OK bill legalizing free-range parenting MIDVALE — In May, Utah will become the first state to bestow statutory blessing on such activities as allowing kids to play outside, walk to schools and parks or engage in other activities independently, without fear of launching a child welfare investigation because a passerby disapproves. The so-called "free-range parenting" law, which takes effect May 8, will protect parents like Jessica Hall, who lets her four kids, ages 5 to 12, jump ditches and play in the park and enjoy the kind of childhood more common in their parents' generation than in their own. The new law says … [Read more...] about Utah is about to become the first state with a free-range parenting law; what does it mean for you?