By Christine Cooke

Testimony given by Christine Cooke in support of SB 262 (UPSTART Amendments) on March 6, 2017, in the House Public Utilities, Energy and Technology Standing Committee of the Utah Legislature.

Thank you, members of committee. I’m Christine Cooke, education policy analyst for Sutherland.

Sutherland supports SB 262 because (1) we support the UPSTART home-based preschool option for families and (2) because this bill requires contractors to work with Department of Workforce Services to reach out to families experiencing intergenerational poverty – the families most likely to see long term benefits from preschool.

My Sutherland colleague sits on the state’s advisory committee tasked with addressing intergenerational poverty, so we understand that these student have unique needs – including access to information about educational options. We believe soliciting these families to know about and access UPSTART is important to addressing their needs.

We believe SB 262 is good policy and we ask you to support the bill.

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Christine Cooke works as a policy analyst for Sutherland Institute’s Center for Educational Progress. Christine has a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University in English Teaching and graduated from Arizona State University with a law degree. Prior to joining Sutherland Institute, Christine was an English teacher at a public junior high school and a residential treatment center. As a student attorney in the Arizona State University Juvenile Advocacy Clinic, Christine represented clients in juvenile law proceedings and taught community legal education to high school students. She worked in legal and policy research with the legal counsel for the Arizona Office of the Governor, legal counsel for Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, the Goldwater Institute, and The Heritage Foundation. Christine has made appearances on Fox-13 News and KSL’s Sunday Edition and is regularly featured in regional publications and radio shows. She currently sits on a state committee that advises the Utah State Board of Education on specific education issues. When in her home state of Arizona, she loves to spend time with her family. She also loves music, hiking, and making cookies.

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