Utahns chose to dramatically change education funding. What comes next?

November 06, 2020 (Deseret News)

Lost in all the attention surrounding the vote-counting for president is the fact that Utahns decided last Tuesday to dramatically change the way they fund public education.

Amendment G, the proposal to remove the constitutional provision requiring all income tax funds in the state be dedicated to public and higher education, is passing easily, according to official ballot counts posted Thursday. That means another bill lawmakers passed earlier this year will take effect, which sets up a rainy day fund for education and promises to provide money for enrollment growth and inflation each year. Another bill calls for lawmakers to fund a 6% growth in school funding over the coming years.

Income tax funds still will provide money for education, but they also will fund programs that support children and people with disabilities. The lieutenant governor’s office has estimated that $600 million will be taken for that purpose, but no one really knows for sure.

As a Utah Foundation pre-election analysis said, the amendment’s wording is vague and hard to define. What constitutes a program for children or for people with disabilities?

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