Jon Huntsman on Education
Governor Huntsman has a mixed record on his educational policies. As governor, he signed legislation to circumvent portions of No Child Left Behind, indicating support for state control of education. Governor Huntsman also signed a large program for school vouchers, but did not act to protect the program when it was overturned the following session.
In 2005, Governor Huntsman signed HB 1001. This legislation placed state educational requirements above the federal requirements set forth in NCLB. Utah was the first state to enact such measures. Specifically, the legislation allowed school officials to prioritize resources first according to state goals, program needs, and accountability standards and then allocate resources to federal goals. Governor Huntsman's opposition to federal control of education was further on display in debates, where he called the NCLB program an unmitigated disaster.
In 2005, the state of Utah passed legislation to create a state wide voucher program that would grant money to people based on income. Although Governor Huntsman signed the legislation into law, when opponents managed to get a referendum to overturn it on the ballot, Governor Huntsman stated that he did not lead the fight to implement vouchers and he would not engage in the fight to overturn them either.
In 2005, the Utah state legislature passed and governor Huntsman signed HB 1001. This legislation placed state educational mandates above that of the federal requirements laid out in No Child Left Behind. It was seen as a strict rebuke to NCLB and Utah was the first state to enact such legislation.
Parent Choice in Education Act
In 2007, Governor Huntsman signed the Parent Choice in Education Act. The legislation enacted a school voucher program that would grant between $500 and $3000 to each child in the state based on their income level. A base income called the income eligibility guideline was set at the maximum annual income allowed to qualify for reduced price meals for the applicable household size as published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture by notice in the Federal Register. The amount available for a scholarship is set based on the level of income in comparison to this guideline.
- Less than or equal to 100% of the income eligibility guideline $3,000
- Greater than 100% but less than or equal to 125% of the income eligibility guideline $2,750
- Greater than 125% but less than or equal to 150% of the income eligibility guideline $2,500
- Greater than 150% but less than or equal to 175% of the income eligibility guideline $2,250
- Greater than 175% but less than or equal to 200% of the income eligibility guideline $2,000
- Greater than 200% but less than or equal to 225% of the income eligibility guideline $1,750
- Greater than 225% but less than or equal to 250% of the income eligibility guideline $1,000
- Greater than 250% of the income eligibility guideline $500
Later in 2007, a referendum was passed that repealed the Parent Choice in Education Act. Governor Huntsman took a neutral stance on the repeal of the legislation. He stated that "I didn't lead the charge for vouchers. I'm not going to lead the charge against vouchers. I will support the will of the people come Feb. 5. Whatever then follows in the legislative session that is consistent with the will of the people, I will be inclined to support."
In August of 2011, Governor Huntsman participated in the Presidential debate in Ames, Iowa. He was asked about No Child Left Behind and stated that he did not support the program.
South Carolina Debate
In the Republican debate in South Carolina, Governor Huntsman stated that No Child Left Behind had not worked for this country. He stated that education should be returned to the local level.
Fox News / Google Debate
On September 22, 2011 Governor Huntsman participated in the Fox News / Google debate. He spoke about the need to localize education.
Op-Ed - Modernizing Education
On January 1, 2012 Governor Johnson wrote an op-ed discussing the need to modernize the federal education system and what he would do as President.
2012 Campaign Website Statements
The federal government shouldn’t be in the business of running local schools or picking winners. President Huntsman will make sure schools, their administrators, and their boards are held accountable through data-driven measures of processes and achievement. Incentives matter, and communities whose schools fail to meet Common Core benchmarks should not be rewarded. A possible consequence could be restricting access to federal resources. President Huntsman will also use his bully pulpit to encourage adaptation of a parent trigger wherein a significant number of concerned parents could induce state action. On the other hand, principals who demonstrate sustained innovation and success should be rewarded and held up as models for other educators.