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.


Christine is director of Sutherland Institute’s Center for Educational Progress. She is a member of the Utah State Bar, with a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and a law degree from Arizona State University. She worked as an English teacher at a public school and a residential treatment center. She also worked with the Arizona Office of the Governor, Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, Goldwater Institute, and The Heritage Foundation.

Christine is regularly featured in national, local and regional publications and radio shows. Christine is an appointed member of the state Competency Based Learning Review Committee. She also serves on the Greater Avenues Community Council. She loves music and making cookies.


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