Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Dual Endorsement in Governor's Race

As you may have seen in both the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News, UEA has endorsed both candidates for Utah Governor.  The following is information provided by UEA President Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh on the dual endorsement.

Why A Dual Endorsement?
1.     Both Mayor Corroon and Governor Herbert have identified public education as a priority in their campaigns. This is a positive for the Utah Education Association.
·       Corroon has involved UEA members in a summit designed to create a long-term plan for public education. He also recognizes the necessity of renewing our commitment to adequately fund public schools following the Great Recession. Corroon’s education platform uses pieces of the Association’s TEF message. He has a dynamic Lt. Governor running mate – Sheryl Allen – who knows the issues facing education. He is willing to look at current tax structure issues. He is anti-voucher.
·       Herbert placed a UEA representative on his Education Excellence Commission. He successfully argued in favor of ongoing funding, and against further cuts in public education, during the 2010 legislative session. He has committed to seek $101 million in federal funding related to the Jobs Bill. He has offered to help us overcome some of the attacks leveled at the Association. He has told us his door is always open. He is the first governor to have requested a meeting with the UEA Board of Directors.

2.     Both Governor Herbert and Mayor Corroon appeared before U-PAC and shared their ideas about education.
·       Both candidates asked for and actively sought an endorsement.

3.     A majority of U-PAC members voted for a dual endorsement.
·       U-PAC members represent every geographic region of the state.
·       Prior to a decision, full discussions were held at both the July and August 2010 U-PAC meetings.
·       Following the July U-PAC meeting, members were asked to discuss the gubernatorial race in their locals and UniServs. This information was shared and discussed.
·       U-PAC voting confirms the democratic nature of the organization.
·       Input was solicited from a number of sources.

What About Vouchers?
1.     Herbert told the UEA Board and U-PAC he believes the public has spoken and vouchers are dead.
2.     While Herbert played a role in the certification of anti-voucher petitions, it was the Utah Legislature that passed the voucher bill.
3.     Corroon is against vouchers.

Shouldn’t We Support Only Corroon? He Is Using The Association’s TEF Message?
1.     Corroon is using pieces of the TEF message. We are appreciative that he is willing to look at the current tax structure and examine problems associated with the systematic ‘defunding’ of public schools.
2.     Both Corroon and Herbert recognize the importance of investing in public schools to grow the economy.
3.     The UEA is planning to meet with Governor Herbert to talk about TEF.

Isn’t A Dual Endorsement A “Chicken” Way Out?
1.     Quite the contrary. It’s a win-win for candidates and a win-win for members. Both candidates have identified public education as a priority in their campaigns. Both have shown support for Association principles and ideas.
2.     By making a dual endorsement, we are saying both candidates have good qualities. We are giving our members a chance to weigh the pros and cons of each candidate and decide for themselves who will best serve the needs of students and educators throughout the state.
3.     We will provide a side-by-side comparison of the candidates for our members, and include the Association’s positions on various critical education issues.
4.     We recognize that the relationship we have with the governor is critical to moving our public education agenda forward.
5.     Education requires bi-partisan cooperation.    

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