2022 Bills

Education Gets the Sandbox Treatment in Utah

One of Libertas’ signature policies over the last few years has been regulatory sandbox bills. These policies continue to move forward in Utah, and many states across the nation are adopting similar bills. 

And the influence of these bills has spread to education.

Many education funds come with restrictions on how they can or cannot be spent. Most education bills provide money for specific projects like the Beverly Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program or the Digital Teaching and Learning Grant Programs. The bill sponsors and programs mean well, but the money comes with heavy bureaucratic rules. They limit schools’ and teachers’ creativity and inhibit innovation. 

But House Bill 386 from Representative Doug Welton and Senate Bill 191 from Senator Lincoln Fillmore changes that. These bills free teachers and schools to create and implement programs in their schools to meet the demands they face on a daily basis.

Representative Welton’s bill puts money in the hands of the decision-makers closest to the students, the teachers. These educators can apply for a grant from the state for up to $5,000 to create and implement programs that their students need.

Senate Bill 191 allows schools to apply for a temporary waiver of the regulatory rules attached to restricted funds. This frees up 35 percent of already-allocated funds to implement innovative programs in our schools. 

Innovation in any industry comes from people closest to the problem, not bureaucrats multiple levels away. These bills free the creative powers of teachers to improve education on the individual class and school level. They are a nice step in deregulating and decentralizing education in Utah.