Wait, …. What, …. I will WANT to pay more in taxes?
That is what you are going to hear in the next several months, signing petitions to launch an initiative to rise the Utah income tax rate from 5% to maybe 5.75% or more to support a poorly funded education system.
The initiative will not come from educators, it will not come from politicians, it will not come from students or even parents – it will come from some of the most powerful, influential and successful business leaders in the State of Utah. It will come from a sector of our population that understands that education is not the end but the means to social and economic development. It will come from those who realize that, if Utah does not do something, something significant, our vision of NATIONAL and GLOBAL leadership might be nothing more than a fairy tale.
While I applaud the effort, we must be aware that there is so much more to achievement of the desired outcome than “just” putting more (?) money into the current “system”. First of all, we must hold our legislators accountable to apply incremental funds into the education “system”. Let’s be real here, just because we vote to raise taxes to fund education, that does not mean that the added revenues will be INCREMENTAL funding.
Sound incredible? Well there are many instances where, with the best of intentions, things went awry. We can look at our neighbors in Idaho who voted for a State Lottery to fund education only to have their elected officials redirect some of the overall funding to projects other than education. If our neighbors knew what their legislators were going to do with the new money they might not have voted to create the lottery.
The time to get onboard the initiative to assure education-targeted funds actually go to education is NOW. We are so much more aware of the power of social media and how it can influence, favorably or unfavorably, actions, opinions and outcomes. If this resonates with you and you want to be an agent of change, Tweet about this @In2Outcomes, Post to Facebook and stay engaged as this #In2Outcomes and #Funds4Education movement gets some traction.