Rally pushes for education funding increase

Posted at 11:39 PM, Mar 11, 2013

SALT LAKE CITY -- Public school funding was the center of a rally held at the state capitol on Monday evening.

Parents, teachers, business leaders and elected officials all gathered at the capitol rotunda to urge lawmakers to support a 2 percent increase in the weighted pupil unit—which is the basic funding unit for public education in Utah.

Nolan Karras, co-chairperson for Education First, said the event was a good example of cooperation for a good cause.

“Tonight education and business joined together to share their stories about the importance of investing in public education and our students’ future,” he said.

Ninth Grade Teacher Jennifer Gravit outlined what the increased funds might be used for.

“With the 2 percent, some of that can go to reducing class sizes,” she said. “Some of that can go to increasing teacher planning time. It can go to help teachers retain and recruit good teachers, so it's very important."

So far more than 5,000 supporters have signed a petition asking lawmakers to support the increase. Those petitions were strung end-to-end across the rotunda.