November 7, 2007

Utah Voters Crush Vouchers

Yesterday, more than 60-percent of Utah voters rejected what would have become the nation's first universal voucher program. The vote ended an 8-month, multi million dollar campaign that attracted national attention. Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. and Republican legislative leaders supported the law, which was passed by a single vote in the Legislature. Voucher opponents, led by the Utah Education Association teachers' union, gathered 124,000 signatures to force it into a voter referendum. Their hard work and dedication to Utah's children paid off.

"Tonight, with the eyes of the nation upon us, Utah has rejected this flawed voucher law," said state School Board Chairman Kim Burningham. "We believe this sends a clear message. It sends a message that Utahns believe in, and support, public schools." chief executive Patrick Byrne, who contributed $3 million to support vouchers, called the referendum a "statewide IQ test" that Utahns failed. "They don't care enough about their kids. They care an awful lot about this system, this bureaucracy, but they don't care enough about their kids to think outside the box," Byrne said.