States should have more power in educational policy, said expert

Aug 7, 2023, 12:30 PM

States should have more power in educational policy, according to Christine Fairbanks, the educatio...

Henry Christiansen, a senior at Skyline High School, reads a book at the library at Skyline High School in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, May 10, 2022. (Mengshin Lin/Deseret News)

(Mengshin Lin/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — States should have more power in educational policy, according to Christine Fairbanks, the education fellow for the Sutherland Institute

Fairbanks said the states should have more power in making educational policies than Congress. 

“States have a better track record of creating bolder reforms,” said Fairbanks.

Fairbanks said states are more capable of responding to different crises or needs their residents have. Educational policies created by states have the potential to better fit their students. 

When the states had more power over creating educational policies, many of them were already doing fairly well, according to Fairbanks. Now that Congress has more power, states often just “check boxes” to get funding. 

Before common core standards were adopted, states were already designing their own education standards. Massachusetts’ standards were “looked to as a template,” for the common core. 

States were incentivized to adopt common core standards with funding, and when Massachusetts adopted them, they decreased, Fairbanks said. 

Fairbanks said a solution to the issue is to end the “conditional relationship” between states and the federal government when it comes to education. Currently, if states do certain things, they receive funding. 

States should be given funding and allowed to use it as they see fit, said Fairbanks. 

“There need to be less performative politics and more understanding what policies are,” said Fairbanks. When people just align with their parties instead of considering what would best serve the public, it creates polarization. 

Related reading:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Education + Schools

Former Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Scot Peterson shown, a school arming school staff is aw...

Curt Gresseth

Utah lawmaker discusses arming school workers

Arming school workers will lead to safer schools, says a Utah lawmaker whose bill awaits the governor's pen to become law.

2 days ago

the state capitol is pictured, the utah supreme court is seeking more information about a redistric...

Adam Small

Utah lawmakers pass two school security bills

The Utah Legislature passed two school security bills. One of them deals with concealed carry incentives for teachers.

3 days ago

Generic image of crime scene tape. A man and a woman were shot in a home in Naples, forcing the nea...

Michael Houck

Shooting near Naples Elementary School forces lockdown, two victims hospitalized

A man and a woman were shot in a home in Naples, forcing the nearby Naples Elementary School to lockdown Wednesday afternoon.

4 days ago

Students walk to their buses after school at Rose Springs Elementary in Erda, Tooele County, on Thu...

Jessica Lowell & Devin Oldroyd

Application process for the Utah Fits All Scholarship now open

The application for the Utah Fits All Scholarship is now open. The scholarship will allow families to apply for up to $8,000 of state funds.

4 days ago

taylor swift performing eras tour concert, a new class at weber state focuses on swift...


Weber State University to offer class on Taylor Swift this fall

The Weber State University Taylor Swift class was offered for the first time this spring and filled up quickly.

5 days ago

cellphone schools...

Peter Johnston

Bill that would remove competency test requirement for teachers looks ready to pass

Currently, those pursuing a teaching license in Utah are required to pass a classroom management test. However, it could disappear from Utah's teaching licensure requirements if a bill passes the Senate this week.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

States should have more power in educational policy, said expert