Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Caucus Meetings are Coming!

Caucus meetings being held next week are extremely important.  If you choose not to become a delegate, please attend your caucus meeting and vote for delegates who are aligned with your positions, especially on public education.  Below are some questions to ask of those who are running as delegates to determine their position on public education.

People concerned about federal issues should run to be state delegates, while those concerned about state and local issues should run to be county delegates.  If your state house or senate boundaries cross county lines, you would need to be a state delegate to select candidates for state races. 

Seeking Education Champions
Caucus meetings are critical!

-       Find the location of your caucus meeting here (must be a registered voter)

Utah’s students and teachers need lawmakers who support public education. In Utah, our lawmakers are often chosen long before their names ever show up on a public election ballot. That’s because candidates are selected by political parties and political parties in Utah use a “caucus and convention” system to pick their candidates. Under this system, neighbors meet together in a “caucus” and elect “delegates” who represent their neighbors. These delegates then gather at a party “convention” to vote on which candidate(s) they want to be on the ballot.

Come caucus night (March 13 for the Democrats and March 15 for the Republicans) it’s critical that you do three things:

1)     Attend your caucus meeting along with as many like-minded neighbors as you can get to come and support you;

2)     Run as a delegate; and

3)     Vote for other education-friendly delegates who will in turn support education-friendly candidates.

Selecting Education Friendly Delegates—

How do you know if a delegate is education friendly? At the caucus meeting, you’ll have an opportunity to ask questions of those running as delegates. Here are some questions you can ask potential delegates at your caucus meeting:

-          What do you view as Utah’s top priorities?
Surveys suggest most Utahns view education as the state’s No. 1 priority with the economy a close second in most polls. Be wary of candidates with an “agenda” not in line with your neighborhood priorities.

-          Do you support additional funding for public education?
By a wide margin, Utah ranks last in the U.S. for the amount it spends per student on education and the vast majority of Utahns believe our public schools are underfunded. The UEA supports additional funding for research-based reforms that will improve student achievement.

-          What public education reforms do you support?
The UEA supports research-based reforms proven to boost student achievement such as smaller class sizes (Utah has by far the nation’s largest), increased student access to technology, enhanced early intervention programs, training and collaboration opportunities for teachers, and reforms that focus on attracting and retaining a quality teacher in every classroom. The UEA does not support paying teachers based solely on test scores, diverting funds from public schools to for-profit companies without taxpayer accountability, or reforms that would result in inequality of student access to educational programs.

Vote for delegates who support the same positions you do, or better yet, consider running yourself – it’s really not that difficult and can make a HUGE difference!

2012 Caucus Meetings—

2012 caucus meetings will be held March 13 (Democratic) and March 15 (Republican). Find the location of your caucus meeting at

For more information, visit  You can view the Utahns for Public Schools PowerPoint on becoming a delegate here.

 JEA members will be sent a survey on Friday, March 16 about caucus attendance.  If you attend your caucus meeting, you will be entered in a drawing for one of two $25 restaurant gift cards!  Drawing sponsored by the JEA PAC.
Thank you in advance for attending your caucus meeting.  This is the first step in making a change in who makes laws impacting your classroom!

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