Spending for all educational purposes in Utah totaled more than $1.81 billion last year, according to an analysis prepared by Utah Foundation, the private tax research organization.
Seventy-nine percent, or $1.44 billion, of last year's education spending total came from state and local tax sources. The remaining 21 percent, or $378 million, was derived from other sources, such as federal aid, tuition and other charges for services.The foundation's analysis said that more than two-thirds of the current expenditures of local school districts in Utah during the 1989-90 year went for instructional purposes. Expenditures for classroom instruction totaled $732 million last year. This included $514 million for instructional salaries (teachers, substitute teachers, teacher aides) plus $218 million for other instructional costs (employee benefits, supplies, textbooks, purchased services).
Total education spending increased by $146 million, or 8.8 percent, during the 1989-90 fiscal year. Local school expenditures increased by 8.6 percent, other public education expenditures increased 8 percent, and spending for higher education rose by 9.5 percent.
Per-pupil costs generally are significantly higher in the sparsely-populated rural districts than they are in the more heavily populated urban districts. Last year, for example, per-pupil expenditures varied from a low of $2,296 in the Alpine District to a high of $6,810 in the Daggett School District.
The foundation analysts pointed out that administration is not as large a factor in local public school operating costs as some may believe.