As states around the country face budget crises, “deficit peacocks” continue to demand cutting social spending while ruling out tax increases on those who have benefited immensely from years of conservative policies. In Utah, deficit peacocks are suggesting eliminating mandatory 12th grade to help close the state’s $700 million budget gap:
The sudden buzz over the relative value of senior year stems from a recent proposal by state Sen. Chris Buttars that Utah make a dent in its budget gap by eliminating the 12th grade. The notion quickly gained some traction among supporters who agreed with the Republican’s assessment that many seniors frittered away their final year of high school, but faced vehement opposition from other quarters, including in his hometown of West Jordan.
“My parents are against it,” [Utas West Jordan High School student body president J.D.] Williams said. “All the teachers at the school are against it. I’m against it.” Buttars has since toned down the idea, suggesting instead that senior year become optional for students who complete their required credits early. He estimated the move could save up to $60 million, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
During a hearing of the state’s Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee earlier this month, Buttars suggested that funding 12th grade amounts to “spending a whole lot of money for a whole bunch of kids who aren’t getting anything out of that grade.” The state senator also has also suggested ending “all busing for high school students,” which would disadvantage poor students and only save a paltry $15 million.