Getting By with Less: Two Decades of K-12 Education Revenue and Spending

Written by: Christopher Collard

Over the past twenty years, Utah’s K-12 education funding effort – or the amount spent per $1,000 personal income – has decreased from 7th highest in the nation to 37th. The decline has resulted in a nearly 29% decrease in tax revenue, which equates to a $1.2 billion reduction of funds available annually for public K-12 education. This would equate to an increase in funding of nearly $2,000 per pupil, or an average of over … Continued

Utah Priorities 2016, Issue #3: K-12 Education

Written by: sudo

Utahns have always ranked K-12 education as a one of their top three concerns in the Utah Priorities Project. In 2016, K-12 education ranked third. Survey Responses Level of Concern In the Utah Priorities Project, over two-thirds (68%) of Utahns had a high level of concern for K-12 education (rating it a 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale). Liberal respondents were slightly more concerned than moderate and conservative respondents, but over 81% of “very … Continued

Utah’s Charter Schools: Comparisons and Funding Equity with District Schools

Written by: Mallory Bateman

This report focuses on charter school finance, with an eye toward equity. To set a framework for that discussion, the report first explains what charter schools are, provides a short history, and looks at the rising ubiquity of charter schools across urban Utah. The report then shows that districts and charter schools are funded differently – due in large part to charter schools’ lack of taxing authority. The report concludes by examining charter schools’ different … Continued

Who Is In Charge of Utah Schools? A Look at Education Governance in Utah

Written by: Mallory Bateman

In 2014, the nomination process for the Utah State Board of Education was challenged and ruled unconstitutional. The ruling demanded that Utah come up with a better solution. During the 2015 General Session, several suggestions were proposed but none were passed. Additional suggestions have also been proposed during the 2016 General Session. Spurred by the need for changes in the selection process of the State Board, Utah Foundation wanted to explore how education governance works. … Continued

Utah Foundation Quality of Life Index: 2015 – From Concern About Jobs to an Embrace of Natural Surroundings

Written by: Mallory Bateman

The third biennial Utah Foundation Quality of Life Index stands at 76.9 out of a possible 100 points, down more than one point from 78.2 in the 2013 index, and down slightly from 77.2 in the 2011 index. Utah Foundation produces the Index in collaboration with Intermountain Healthcare. While overall Utahns rate themselves as having a high quality of life, several of the quality of life aspects most important to them – like public schools, … Continued

21st Century Infrastructure: How Broadband Internet has Shaped and is Shaping Utah

Written by: Mallory Bateman

Broadband internet has been widely influential on the twenty-first century. It allows professors to teach college-level courses to rural high school students in several schools at the same time, it makes telepsychiatry services possible, and it has made Netflix ubiquitous in homes across the nation. The future of broadband internet will encompass an increasing number of services for residents and businesses. Utah has been leading the country in some areas of the internet and it … Continued

Lessons from Our Neighbor: Learning from Colorado’s Educational Success

Written by: Christopher Collard

In the early 1990s Utah ranked in the top 15 states on all four major national tests. Utah lost ground in the late nineties and now ranks in the middle twenties among the states. Colorado also slipped in national rankings, but contrary to Utah, Colorado quickly rebounded, and has been in the top 15 in reading and math for the last decade despite spending less than the national average on education. This report explores a … Continued

Millennials and Boomers: How Utah’s Generations Compare to Each Other and the Nation (Part I)

Written by: Mallory Bateman

PART I: DEMOGRAPHICS (See Part II: Finances and Workplace Preferences, Part III: Housing, and Part IV: Politics and Society) In 2015, Millennials will overtake Baby Boomers in the U.S. as the largest generation. This is in contrast to Utah Millennials, who have been the largest proportion of the population since before the youngest members were even born. While nationally Gen Xers have held a smaller proportion of the population than either group, Utah Baby Boomers … Continued

Reaching Toward 2050: Education in the Midst of Population Growth

Written by: Mallory Bateman

The prospect of adding 385,000 school-aged Utahns over the next 35 years seems daunting. With this public school growth will come certain challenges, some of which the state has already been facing over the past two decades. Inadequate policy responses to these challenges may have produced a slide in national academic rankings, a decrease in education funding efforts, and an increase in tuition for college students. One way to address growth in the coming decades … Continued

Steps Forward in Higher Ed: Success Measures, Game Changers, and Performance-Based Funding in Utah

Written by: Shawn Teigen

What are the goals of Utah’s colleges and universities? How do these goals align with the goals of the state? This report provides an overview of higher education success measures, the barriers to reaching them, and the costs of failure. The report then analyzes how some of the biggest “game changers” for success are implemented in Utah, with a particular emphasis on performance funding. As opposed to funding higher education based upon enrollment, performance funding … Continued