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 — UtahPolicy.com: 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

Utah Thrives: Teacher Compensation

Written by: Dan Bammes

A pair of recent research reports by Utah Foundation revealed that teacher pay in Utah has not kept pace with a booming state economy, and that its retirement system has some unique features that are an important part of overall compensation. In this edition of Utah Thrives, we’ll hear from a Steve Dimond, a school district administrator responsible for hiring teachers in an increasingly competitive environment. We’ll also hear from Utah Foundation Vice President and … Continued

Utah Thrives: Paying for Water

Written by: Dan Bammes

What’s the best way for communities in Utah to share the cost of providing water? How can municipalities and water districts encourage users to conserve so in the long run, there will be enough to go around? Utah Foundation looked at those questions in a new series of research reports. In this edition of Utah Thrives, we’ll hear from Research Analyst Christopher Collard, along with Ron Thompson from the Washington County Water Conservancy District, Tom … Continued