Don't shortchange education, says the chief economist for Key Bank of Utah, because Utah's economic future depends on maintaining a top quality educational program in the state.

Jeff Thredgold gave the Utah Economic Development Board the bank's analysis of Utah's economic outlook for 1989 so money can be channeled into programs where it will do the most good.Thredgold said several figures about education are always "being tossed around" such as the amount of money spent on each student and Utah's per capita income. But the fact remains, he said, that Utah is average in education, with some test scores higher than the United States average and some below.

Based on the state's culture, Thredgold said being average isn't good enough so more emphasis must be placed on education. Without an educated work force, companies won't want to expand into the state, he said.

He emphasized that funding for the University of Utah must be adequate because it is a research institution and each dollar spent there will result in many more dollars in matching funds.