The Utah Foundation Honored with Multiple National Awards for Recent Work

Written by: Shawn Teigen

This summer, the Utah Foundation was honored with several awards by the Governmental Research Association, the national association of public policy research professionals. The GRA presented the awards at its annual conference, hosted by the Civic Federation of Chicago. The honors include three award-winners and two certificates of merit: The award for Most Distinguished Research for the Utah Foundation’s Paying for Water Series. You can find the series here: The award for Best Data … Continued

Significant Statistics | Utah is No Longer at the Bottom in Education Spending per Student

Written by: Shawn Teigen

As many people know, Utah has been last in the nation for decades in per pupil spending on education, trailing Arizona and Idaho. No longer. Utah Foundation staff had expected the state to pull ahead of Idaho at some point during the past four years. It has finally happened with the 2019 U.S. Census Bureau data released today.[1] The Utah Foundation prefers the measure of education spending effort – or the amount spent on education … Continued

Op-Ed: Why should we care about educational attainment?

Written by: Peter Reichard

Post-secondary educational attainment matters a lot. For years, Utah Foundation has been uncovering data on challenges and successes that connect directly to post-secondary educational attainment. In fact, attainment matters so much to us that we just launched a series on the topic with a report that examines strategies that can be deployed to help boost attainment levels. What is educational attainment? In general, it is the highest level of education that a person or population … Continued

Utah Thrives Podcast | The Why and How of Boosting Post-Secondary Attainment

Written by: Staff

Utah Foundation has launched a series of reports on how Utah can boost educational attainment. The first report in that series, Beating the Odds: Post-Secondary Success for Adult, First-Generation and Lower-Income Students, explores various means of promoting both student retention and completion of certificates and degrees. It focuses on subsets of students who have been less likely to attain higher levels of education and receive the socio-economic benefits of that attainment.  In this edition of Utah … Continued

Policy Savant Panel — Climate Cange

Written by: Peter Reichard

We can admit that any effort Utah makes to address global climate change will be a drop in the world bucket, and Utah Foundation’s 2020 Utah Priorities Project shows that Utahns in general are not particularly concerned about climate change. But Utahns are worried about air quality. And if Utah makes major strides on the air quality front, it might thereby do more than its part in the climate change arena. There’s no reason Utah … Continued

Op-ed: Getting clear on what the income tax amendment does and doesn’t do

Written by: Peter Reichard

There are a number of constitutional amendments on the ballot confronting Utah voters this November. The Utah Foundation provided summaries and brief analyses of each in its recent report On the Ballot: Constitutional Amendments Nov. 3, 2020. But by far the most controversial item is Amendment G, which expands the potential uses of income tax revenue. Currently, Utah’s income taxes are dedicated to public and higher education alone. The amendment would broaden the named uses. … Continued

Significant Statistics | Uneven Distribution of Utah’s Unemployment

Written by: Shawn Teigen

Utah’s tourism-destination counties – particularly those in Southeastern Utah – and the state’s most important oil and gas extraction counties have been the slowest to recover from the pandemic-resultant recession. In the Southeastern part of the state, Garfield, Grand, San Juan and Wayne counites’ unemployment rates remain between 8.3% and 10.3%. Duchesne and Uintah counties sit at 7.6% and 8.5%, respectively. The decline in energy prices mentioned in Utah Foundation’s September 24 release, Utah Priority … Continued

Significant Statistics | Utahns prefer that K-12 spending go to teacher pay

Written by: Shawn Teigen

As part of the 2020 Utah Priorities Project survey, when asked if they would be willing to pay more taxes for public schools, a majority of voters agreed. Utah voters preferred that additional funding be directed toward teacher pay and smaller class sizes, with less emphasis on either technology, books and other supplies or counselors and support services. Improved school facilities was a distant last place. Learn about how these preferences conflict and more in … Continued

Op-Ed: Coronavirus, an earthquake and lessons learned from a past crisis

Written by: Peter Reichard

The impacts surrounding the coronavirus, coupled with a significant earthquake, have me thinking back to a dark period. In New Orleans in 2005, I watched a piece of American civilization fall into confusion, the city half-destroyed (and my own house looted). But I was lucky, with “only” about $40,000 in damage from floodwaters. This was the Katrina disaster and its aftermath, and I watched it from the front row, working at a public policy organization … Continued

Op-Ed: When it comes to tax reform, time may be the best teacher

Written by: Peter Reichard

One of my all-time favorite movies is a holiday picture, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” I doubt I’m alone in that. Even at the time of its release, it was a smashing box office success, and won Academy Awards for best picture, best director (Frank Capra) and best actor (Jimmy Stewart), right? Wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong. The 1947 film was a box office disappointment, and all those awards went to a movie few can remember … Continued