Utah education funds barely keep up with the need

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

While Utah’s colleges and universities had many of their budget wishes granted by the state Legislature, public education — kindergarten through 12th grade — will continue shortchanged, as it has for years, with little to no additional funding.

In the legislative session just ended, a huge amount of money — accounting for nearly half the state budget — was allocated to public education. But, although lawmakers like to boast about their commitment to schools, additional money will, again, merely fund basic education for more than 10,000 additional students expected next year and mandated expenditures such as employee health and retirement funds.

The reality is that Utah’s birth rate — highest in the nation — and influx of new residents with children mean that nothing much will change for education in Utah until legislators admit the need for additional sources of revenue.

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