America’s Nursing School: The Nursing Program at Western Governors University

Written by: Christopher Collard

America’s Nursing School: The Nursing Program at Western Governors University is a new analysis commissioned by Western Governors University (WGU). This brief finds that WGU is playing a leading role in filling this vital health care and economic need across the country. Among the findings of the study: The number of unfilled openings in the health care sector doubled from the end of 2019 to the beginning of 2022. As an online university, WGU has … Continued

The Flowering of Youth: The Next Generation in Utah

Written by: Peter Reichard

UTAH SOCIAL CAPITAL SERIES Check out the other sections of the Utah Social Capital Series. Links will become live as reports are published Civic Engagement Social Trust Community Life Family Health Social Cohesion Focus on Future Generations Social Mobility Overall Index The Flowering of Youth: The Next Generation in Utah is the Utah Foundation’s sixth report in its Utah Social Capital Series. This installment presents data and analysis in four areas: the birth rate; investments … Continued

Broadening Horizons: Clearing an Early Path to Post-Secondary Success

Written by: Shawn Teigen

When looking beyond high school, some Utah students face low expectations, a shortfall in post-secondary readiness, a lack of knowledge around post-secondary options and financial challenges. This report, Broadening Horizons: Clearing an Early Path to Post-Secondary Success, not only explores these challenges, but also seeks to reveal the network of supports that can help smooth the transition out of high school, broadening the educational horizons of Utah youth. Broadening Horizons is the second report in … Continued

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