Utah voucher lobbyist apologizes for saying she wanted to ‘destroy public education’ – Salt Lake Tribune
A prominent Utah lobbyist is apologizing after her comment about wanting to “destroy public education” with vouchers was shared in a recording online.
Allison Sorensen, the executive director of Education Opportunity for Every Child, a school choice nonprofit, confirmed to The Salt Lake Tribune in a statement Monday that she made the remarks and regrets it.
“I apologize for my thoughtless and inappropriate comments,” she wrote. “I should not have made them. My remarks as an individual should not be interpreted to represent any organization, the Legislature, or the tens of thousands of Utahns who are asking for more education opportunities for their families and communities.”
An audio recording of Sorensen was shared widely online over the weekend by Lisa Logan, a member of the conservative group Utah Parents United, who posted a clip in a tweet.
Is it really the goal of the Utah legislature to recall & destroy public education?
Because that’s what the head of the Utah Fits All marketing campaign is telling parents.
Since 600K+ students use that system, I think your constituents deserve answers. #utpol #utleg #uted pic.twitter.com/oaRuAG7V8E
— Lisa Logan (@iamlisalogan) January 23, 2023
Sorensen, a mother of five, is a longtime pro-voucher advocate who has also been serving as the marketing director for a campaign supporting “Utah Fits All.” That’s the name of the voucher program being proposed in HB215, which would allocate $42 million in taxpayer funding for students to attend private school or be home-schooled.
But the bill sponsor, Rep. Candice Pierucci, R-Herriman, told The Tribune earlier this week she wasn’t sure who was running the campaign, which includes a customized website, social media pages and branded T-shirts.
“I did not hire nor work with anyone to have a page created about the bill,” she added Tuesday. “We have no way of preventing someone from starting a web page in support of or against any of the bills we run. “
It appears Sorensen is part of the campaign. But it’s not clear who else is involved and if that includes her larger Education Opportunity for Every Child organization.
“Like any other mom, I want every child in Utah to have access to an education that helps them thrive,” Sorensen said in her apology.
In the recording, Sorensen talks about HB215. Logan said on Twitter that the audio came from a training session about the scholarship, but didn’t offer details on when that took place, who ran it or who captured the recording. Logan didn’t respond Monday to an email request for comment.
Sorensen declined to answer follow-up questions from The Tribune after her statement, saying she had “no further comment.”
In the nearly two-minute audio clip — which Logan said is part of a 15-minute recording that was too long to post online — Sorensen can be …….