Beating the Odds: Post-Secondary Success for Adult, First-Generation and Lower-Income Students

Written by: Shawn Teigen

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 benefits of that attainment. Among the findings of the new report: Utah’s population is changing. If the state’s post-secondary educational institutions do not respond to those changes, tens of thousands … Continued

Utah Priorities 2020 | Utah Priority No. 3: Kindergarten through 12th Grade Education

Written by: Shawn Teigen

Going back to 2004, K-12 education had always ranked among the top three issues in the Utah Priorities Project until dropping to 6th place during the winter 2020 survey. However, K-12 education bounced back up to 3rd place during the summer 2020 survey following the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and school closures. Concern is partly driven by the economic needs of working parents, health risks and educational challenges. As in past years’ surveys, many … Continued

Making the Grade? K-12 Outcomes and Spending in Utah

Written by: Shawn Teigen

K-12 educational success is important to students and their families, but success is also important to the states and local taxpayers who fund education systems. Their investment is expected to pay dividends in producing an educated citizenry and a potent workforce. Making the Grade? K-12 Outcomes and Spending in Utah uses Utah’s computer-adaptive assessment results to measure success, and then reaches beyond the state’s borders using national measures. Some assessments show that Utah compares well … Continued

Another Bite at the Apple: Comparing Teacher Retirement Plans

Written by: Shawn Teigen

Observers often assume that government jobs pay less than the private sector but provide better benefits. With regard to pay, Utah Foundation’s 2019 report, Apples to Apples: How Teacher Pay in Utah Stacks Up to the Competition revealed that teachers do tend to make less than people in the private sector, while teacher retirement benefits tend to be more generous. This compensation mix affects schools’ recruitment and retention strategies. Apples to Apples focused mostly on … Continued

Apples to Apples? How Teacher Pay in Utah Stacks up to the Competition

Written by: Shawn Teigen

  IN UTAH, AS IN OTHER STATES, there is much discussion around teacher shortages. A key component of both recruiting and retaining effective teachers is to offer an appropriate level of compensation. In the report, Apples to Apples?, Utah Foundation does not indicate what the appropriate level is. It does, however, show that Utah’s average teacher pay is far lower than the national average. It is also the lowest among the Mountain States – states … Continued

A Level Playing Field? Funding for Utah Students at Risk of Academic Failure

Written by: Shawn Teigen

The Governor’s Education Excellence Commission, led by Governor Herbert, voted to focus its efforts in 2018 on “providing support to students at risk of academic failure.” It suggests a strategy for the Utah Legislature to “consider additional state funding … based on student risk factors.” Demographic and economic factors can affect the cost of promoting academic success. Lower household income, disability status and lower English fluency can all be rough indicators of the need for … Continued

The Education Tax: Income Taxation in Utah

Written by: Christopher Collard

The income tax is one of the legs of Utah’s “three-legged stool” of tax revenues, along with the property and sales taxes. It is the largest of the three in 2017, bringing in approximately $3.6 billion. While federal income taxes are often a target for jokes on complexity, Utah’s state income taxes are relatively straightforward. Income taxes are a frequent focus for those who want increases for education on the one hand and those who … Continued

Considering a Cut to Utah’s Income Tax

Written by: Christopher Collard

State lawmakers are currently considering a small personal and corporate income tax cut for Utahns that would reportedly reduce the state income tax from 5% to 4.95%. Lawmakers are considering these tax cuts in light of large revenue growth from the income tax on top of a one-time windfall as a result of the recent federal income tax overhaul. This brief addresses the impact of the personal income tax cut on households. Based on data … Continued

Simple Arithmetic? K-12 Education Spending in Utah

Written by: Shawn Teigen

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 reporting. Download this report. … 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