Even when figures are adjusted for inflation and cost-of-living factors, Utah's education spending ranks dead last among the states, according to the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations.
The agency was concerned that state education-spending comparisons were not valid because of these variations, so it recalculated the figures with the inflation factors considered.In the commission's adjusted analysis of 1986-87 spending, Utah still comes in 50th, with an average per-child expenditure of $2,516. The state showed an average 2.6 percent annual increase from 1959-60 through 1987-88. This also was the lowest average increase of all the states for the period.
In its past two sessions, the Utah Legislature has put larger increases into per-pupil spending, but Utah has never come out of the cellar.
Other states that usually keep company with Utah in the bottom 10 also remained put, but the differences between the low-spending states and the high-spending states were reduced in the commission's adjusted figures - in some instances by as much as 20 percent.
Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi remain just above Utah in their per-student outlays, while New York, Alaska and New Jersey were the highest spenders.