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Lawmakers Say Governor Wrong To Veto Education Spending


Some state lawmakers say Utah Governor Gary Herbert’s decision to veto spending on a handful of education programs is misinformed.

Governor Herbert rejected increased spending on a K-3 reading intervention program and UPSTART, an online pre-school program. Herbert said in letters to House and Senate leaders, UPSTART needed further evaluation before receiving additional funding. He added, the reading intervention program is underutilized and isn’t really working.

House Majority Whip Francis Gibson says, yes its underutilized but, “we’re seeing that continue to grow as schools get more devices and more capability within their classrooms.”

As a result of the veto Republican Senator Howard Stephenson says fewer students will benefit from both the reading intervention and UPSTART programs in the coming year.  

“The governor has admitted to me that they made mistakes in looking at the figures,” Stephenson says. “And he has also apologized for not checking with legislators or with the state office of education about the programs that he was cutting the funding for.”

Jon Cox, a spokesman for Herbert says the governor in no way conveyed he made a mistake in vetoing these line items. 

The House and Senate are polling members to decide if they’d like to move forward with a veto override session. 

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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