Thursday, December 1, 2016

2016 Elections

I am running for the Alpine School District Board in District 4.   I care a lot about education in the district and want to make a difference for our children.

  1. Small Class Size: I have 9 children, 2 of which are currently attending school in Alpine School District.  I recognize the importance of small classes, particularly in early grades.
  2. Advanced Learning: Several of my children have participated in Advanced Learning Laboratory (ALL) classes and have had terrific teachers that inspired them to learn.  It is important to fund programs for advanced students as well as those who need supplementary instruction.  
  3. Efficient Math: Mathematics education should be engaging and rigorous.  My 6th grader reminds me that students need to be fluent in math facts if they are going to be successful in algebra and geometry.  I am a strong advocate of encouraging children to pursue careers in math, science and engineering.
  4. Parental Involvement: While serving on a High School community council, I realized the impact that parents can have as they participate in PTA, community councils and volunteer in our schools.  I will provide increased opportunities for parents to participate in their children's education.  My 9th grader reminds me that a big part of an education is learning to get along with other people.  I am a strong supporter of sports, clubs and other cultural aspects of the educational system.
  5. Experience: I have 7 children who have graduated from Alpine District and pursued university studies.  As I see their experiences I am more committed to helping all students to be college ready when they graduate from high school.  My background as a professor of Computer Science at BYU has given me insights into what students need to learn in K-12 to be college ready.  My experience on the school board has given me the opportunity to understand the issues that need to be addressed.
  6. Fiscal Responsibility: Raising a large family has taught me the value of being careful with finances.  I am an advocate for smaller government and reduced taxes and I think that this applies to our public schools as well as the federal government.  As I have looked at the budget for Alpine School District, I have been impressed with the stewardship our administrators feel in being fiscally responsible and in delivering the best education for our tax dollars.  I will work to increase the quality of our education while keeping costs to a minimum.
I appreciate your support and would like to hear your views on issues associated with Alpine school district.  Please email me, or contact me at 801-310-0967.

I look forward to working with you to help our students become their best through quality public education.

Dr. Mark Clement

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

New Pleasant Grove High School Principal

Dr Steve Stewart from Vista Heights Middle School will be joining Pleasant Grove High School as the principal next year. We are excited to have his talents, but will miss Mr Brantley.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Pleasant Grove Community Council

The Pleasant Grove High School Community Council has just finished the Academic Improvement Plan for next year.  After reviewing the data, we determined that the greatest needs of the school were in writing, biology and secondary math.  We will be funding graders for english writing assignments, additional microscope technology and ipads for secondary math from the trust lands funds.  It has been great to work with the school administration and teachers to make these decisions.  They are a great group of people who really care about the children.

Friday, March 11, 2016

The Utah Legislature has completed their work for the 2016 General Legislative Session. I am disturbed by the burden that the legislature places on community councils.  I am in favor of the increases in trustlands distributions.  

Both bills - SJR 12 and SB109 - related to more prudent management and distribution of the permanent fund passed.  This is the fund that generates revenue for the School LAND Trust Program. Together, the two bills will stabilize and increase the annual distribution to schools if the constitutional amendment created by SJR 12 passes in the November election.  Historically, the distribution has been between 2 and 2.5% annually.  The investment board believes 4% more accurately reflects their legal responsibility to balance the benefit to current and future school children.

SJR 12 Proposal to Amend Utah Constitution – Changes to School Funds (Sponsor: Senator Millner) is a constitutional change.  It clarifies that today’s investments return earnings other than just interest and dividends.  It caps any distribution at 4% of the market value of the fund to protect the fund from over distribution.  This bill will be on the ballot next November.  It is important that councils help educate parents, educators, and community members about what the change will accomplish for schools.  It passed the legislature with a unanimous vote.

SB 109 School and Institutional Trust Lands Amendments (Sponsor: Senator Millner) puts in code the distribution policy.  The policy is based on the market value of the fund over three years and adds a component for both student growth and inflation.  If that number is higher than the 4% cap, the distribution for the year would be limited to 4%.

HB 343 School Administration Amendments (Sponsor: Representative Stratton) passed with a unanimous vote.  It doesn’t change anything in current practice.  It clarifies that when school community councils hold elections in the spring, the parent of an incoming student may both run for the council and vote.  It clarifies that professional development plans and reading achievement plans are part of the School Improvement Plans councils review and approve annually.

2SHB 277 Personalized Learning and Teaching Amendments (Sponsor: Representative Knotwell) appropriates $9,652,400 ongoing funds and $3,000,000 in one time funds to districts/LEAs through Digital Teaching and Learning Grants.  Councils may want to understand what districts/LEAs intend to do with this grant money if councils have been spending School LAND Trust funds on digital related goals. 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

The U.S. average for per-pupil spending stands at $11,841, after adjusting for regional cost differences. Vermont had the highest per-pupil spending at $19,134. On the other end of the spectrum, Utah, the lowest-ranking state, spends $7,084.


Local Control

I am concerned about bills from the state legislature that interfere with local schools. HB0403 passed in 2015 requires local schools to survey parents. We were warned in the Pleasant Grove Community Council to expect surveys from all of our children's teachers. I trust my children's teachers to initiate surveys if they feel it is necessary, but I feel like local control over these kind of things is much better.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Charter School Statistics

I thought this article had some interesting insights into how charter schools compare to more regulated district schools.