Utah Senator Chris Buttars (R-West Jordan) is drafting a bill that proposes eliminating the 12th grade from Utah's public schools in an effort to save $102 million. We hope that Buttars' colleagues on the hill won't waste much time before putting this ill-conceived idea in the circular file where it belongs. But if anyone does think phasing out senior year has merit, please consider the following:


Dear college admissions officer:

I really want to attend your university so I think I'd better explain why my academic transcript is missing the 12th grade. The Utah Legislature thinks that senior year is kind of a waste of time, and since they needed to cut a whole lot of money out of the education budget they decided to let everyone graduate early. I worked hard to make sure I got all of my minimum credits done by 11th grade but, as you can see, I didn't have time to take many Advanced Placement courses. I was also doing well on our basketball team but only got to play one year on varsity. I bet we would have won region if we could have played one more year.

My concern is that students from other states will have more credits than I do. They probably had more time for extracurricular and community-service classes than I did, too, but I promise I would have done all of that if I had been in high school for another year.

Thank you for your attention. I hope you won't reject me just because my state's public high schools only go through 11th grade.

Sincerely,

A Utah student


Dear employer,

I know I am only 17 but I would really like to work for your company. I graduated from high school this year and I am not planning to go to college. I got good grades but our school didn't offer vocational classes because it only goes for three years. I know that the other high school graduates who are applying for this job are probably older and have more training than I do but our state couldn't afford to keep us in school any longer.

Sincerely,

A Utah student


Dear Mr. CEO,

We hope you will choose to locate your new plant in the great state of Utah. We offer great business opportunities, generous tax incentives and a pretty, great work force. Our high school graduates are hard workers. They may not have the training that their counterparts in other parts of the country have after four years of high school, but they are young and eager.

If you relocate your management team to Utah you will discover that our communities are very family oriented and our school system is excellent even though it only goes through 11th grade.

Sincerely,

A Utah taxpayer