Simple Arithmetic? K-12 Education Spending in Utah

Written by: Shawn Teigen

Download this report.   SOME CLAIM UTAH NEEDS MORE MONEY for K-12 public education. Others assert there is waste in the current K-12 public education budget. Simple Arithmetic? K-12 Education Spending in Utah can help readers answer for themselves questions about sufficiency and waste. It explains education finance and financial transparency. It explores revenues and spending in Utah and provides national comparisons. It also discusses data availability – and the next steps in education finance … Continued

United Way of Treasure Valley 2017 Community Assessment

Written by: Shawn Teigen

In 2016, the United Way of Treasure Valley retained Utah Foundation to perform a Community Assessment of the United Way’s three-county service area. Work was completed in 2017. The Community Assessment is seen as a foundation to achieve community goals. For the assessment, Utah Foundation analyzed community data as indicators of community success, barriers to reveal hindrances to community success, and opportunities as potential solutions to barriers. To inform the assessment, Utah Foundation held focus groups … Continued

Help Wanted: Workforce Participation, Wages, Job Desirability, and Skills Gaps

Written by: Shawn Teigen

In a December 2015 Utah Foundation Report, 71% of 151 major local employers reported some level of difficulty finding enough skilled or qualified employees. One-third claimed the worker shortage was the single greatest factor impeding their growth, and an overlapping but not identical third reported the scarcity of skilled workers as the worst quality of Utah’s labor pool. More recent data indicate the trend has not changed. An analysis of Utah’s worker shortage identifies four principal contributing issues: a … Continued

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: Web Admin

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