ERIC Number: ED390131
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Rolling in the Dough, Running from Reform: An Analysis and Critique of the 1994 Utah Legislative Session and Its Impact on Education.
Johnson, Bob L., Jr.
This paper provides a critical review of the 1994 Utah Legislative session as it relates to public and higher education in the state. The paper discusses the defining contextual features of the 1994 Legislative Session, the agendas of key state educational policy actors for the 1994 session, and significant issues and legislation in the public-education and higher education sectors. The emergence of educational issues occurred within a context that was defined by an array of givens and tensions: unanticipated, record-setting tax revenues; election-year politics; demands for tax relief from a Republican-controlled, fiscally conservative Legislature; demands for tax equity from Democratic leaders; aggressive gubernatorial leadership; and the existence of demands created by the deficit-needs of various state agencies. In many ways, public and higher education fared quite well during the 1994 session. However, despite record-setting revenues, healthy budget increases, and gubernatorial success with the Legislature, it would appear that the 1994 Legislature did little in terms of innovative and substantive reform. Instead, the Legislature seemed content with maintaining the status quo, opting for incremental increases in existing programs and agencies. The result was business as usual, but at higher spending levels, and failure to address long-term needs of the state. The Legislature could have allocated resources more strategically, which would serve to: (1) buffer the effects of future economic fluctuations on the state's education systems; (2) prevent the creation of expectations among state agencies and citizens that cannot be maintained; and (3) allow the state to invest in promising areas of educational innovation and reform. Five tables and 103 footnotes are included. (LMI)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper written for the Utah Education Policy Center Yearbook, 1994-1995, edited by Patrick F. Glavin and Bob L. Johnson, Jr.