As far as I can tell, Utah is just getting the biggest bang for it's buck when
it comes to education, and I'm fine with that. That's not to say Utah schools
couldn't use a couple extra bucks, but trying to judge a school systems worth
based on how much money they spend is completely illogical. I'm interested in
how much we produce per dollar invested, not the total amount we spend. While some money is essential for education, more money is not
necessarily the answer. In my opinion, by far and away the biggest predictor of
someones educational success is the attitude of their family towards
education.If you have parents who expect you to do well in school
and help you and teach you along the way, that student will succeed regardless
of the money or lack thereof. However, if the parents aren't on
board with education, no matter how much money you throw at that student, very
little difference will be made.
I love how we live in a state were whenever there is a moral issue the people
shout “protect the children” “do it for the children”,
yet when it comes to educating our children or money, money wins every time. Can
you say hypocrisy.I for one think our children’s future is
worth a raise in taxes.
'Utah has to be the worst state in the union to live. The people are close
minded, it takes more beers to get drunk, the education system stinks, gays are
being discriminated against, it's just a horrible horrible place. Seems there
should be more people moving out of this state than coming in due to the
abhorrent living conditions. Why do so many people want to live in such an awful
place? Weird I tell ya.' - 9:25 a.m. Bleching Cow, agreed. Oh, were you being sarcastic? But...those were facts. :)
Wow! Number one in online pornography and dead last in per-pupil spending. Now
that's what I call family values! Way to go, Utah!
We'd get a lot more bang for the buck if federal education dollars were
distributed to the schools through a voucher system. Then the money could be
used where the school district needs the money, not where Washington politicians
and bureaucrats tell us where we need the money.
You would think Utah would spend Zero dollars on a socialist program like
education. Goodness the teachers fill those fragile minds with progressive
thought!They may teach them not to judge the beggar for the
sitiuation he finds himself in or give to each man accorrding to his wants.
Maybe to if you have more your should give more. Oh sorry I was thinking about
Mosiah not a teacher.
We are a very small populated state with not a big influx of out of state
moveins but we sure do know how to make more people.Re:
"Counter..."You are wrong we are very low on the percentage of the
state budget. Conservatives in their views do not value a quality public school
education, they want a working class of poor uneducated workers.Remember child labor laws etc. all anti conservative views.
Oh yeah, I forgot. Another bad thing about Utah is the religious fanatics will
be celebrating the 4th of July on Saturday instead of Sunday. Oh the horrors of
Utah has to be the worst state in the union to live. The people are close
minded, it takes more beers to get drunk, the education system stinks, gays are
being discriminated against, it's just a horrible horrible place. Seems there
should be more people moving out of this state than coming in due to the
abhorrent living conditions. Why do so many people want to live in such an
awful place? Weird I tell ya.
Re Egbert:The people that stole the money in Davis School District I
don't believe were ever teachers or in-school administrators. Some districts do
hire people from the business world, say CPA's, to oversee their finances and
such, and they aren't necessarily educators. Now if I'm incorrect and these
people from Davis School District that stole this money were former teachers and
school administrators, perhaps your point has credence. But even then, I doubt
the incidences of money swindling in our schools comes close to rivaling what
takes place in the business world.
Re: "Danish..."I do agree with a few of your beliefs, we need
parents more involved, we need to allow discipline back into the classrooms.But, what is wrong with the teacher's union? Administrators can get rid
of bad teachers, there are no rules that keep them in the classrooms. NEA does
not want them there. What is wrong with Tenure? It take years of
hard work, to develop in to a quality educator.Remember our country
will fail if we fail in the education of our youth.
I find it very funny that the Red states consume more in Federal Spending then
they pay in! Utah is in the mid 20s on the list. Sounds like State Welfare to
me. I thought you people in Utah didn't want government spending.
Oh yeah it comes from defense, which you are more then happy to take and waste.
Yet, you whine when other states ask for more federal dollars for education.Hmm making bombs or teaching children, call me crazy buy my belief
system spend all we can on education and as little as possible on defense.
@herveyYou must be a teacher. Until we get PC out of the schools,
get parents more involved, allow discipline back into the classroom, get rid of
teacher's unions so we can get rid of bad teachers, stop tenure, get the federal
government out of education, and the list goes on and on--it simply won't matter
how much money per student we spend.
Re: "Egbert..."Remember it was those business people in the district
that took all that money. They where caught, what more do you want? It is
not the fault of the schools if some business person in the district did
something wrong. Egbert if you want quality education let the
professionals do the job. You must not have spent any time in the field for you
seem very ignorant of the dealings with in a school building.I do
not understand why you are so upset, (it might be because you are part of the
conservative ignorant mass that believes in their own bliss.)The
conservatives in this state like their pet projects.If it makes money for
them or their friends they are for it.So, if we tied money making
projects to public schools the conservatives in this state would open up the
coffers and we would have successful fully funded schools.
At what point will Utah start to charge a "head tax" to families that enroll
more than, say, 4 students per family? Big families are not paying their fair
share of the burden. They get tax breaks on both their federal and state taxes
due, and then they enroll them in school. Those of us with fewer children end
up paying for OUR children and THEIR children, too. Yes I want everyone to have
a "free and appropriate" education. I'm a teacher! But my kids' education
suffers because I kept my family size small.
Perhaps if more Utah Districts were diligent in the efficient use of the
taxpayer dollars they receive, and were actually held accountable for HOW the
money is spent, then we taxpayers wouldn't be so irate. The John and Susan Ross
Embezzlement of millions of dollars from the Davis School District went
"undetected" for decades. Too bad the CFO is that incompetent that he couldn't
have even TRIED to conduct an appropriate audit.This is why people are so
furious, the imperious nature of "educators", folks, it's not that difficult to
teach, nor is that difficulty to "administrate" the workings of a school
district. Yes, folks we DO expect our School District employees to actually WORK
for a living, therein lies the difference, between us and them. Merit pay for
teachers is an excellent idea. No tenure, no seniority, make your job dependent
entirely upon results, just like in the private sector. Oh, that's not "fair",
says the UEA, no, it's called REALITY.
LIBERAL TeachersLIBERAL Professors and UniversitiesLIBERAL Education
SystemLIBERAL EUALIBERAL AgendaSee,Conservatives HATE anything dealing with eduction.Why on earth should
they fund it?
I think Conservatives are afraid of education.Education causes you
to think for yourself,which in turn makes you become more LIBERAL.
I wonder if there is a coorelation with being the most conservative as well.No wonder so many are turning to AM radios to get educated....by
It's unbelievable that the arguments against better funding for education
continue...teachers should be compensated better, they should not have to use
their own money to purchase supplies for their students and, very important,
class sizes should be reduced to 20 and under instead of 30, sometimes 40 plus.
It may be enough for conservatives/republicans to have students who
are about average but think what the "pretty great" state could do with just
average funding...our students would in the top 10 and our future brighter.
@Danish American...Actually, if you consider both demographics and funding, you
find education spending does make a difference. Most states with higher spending
also have more minority students and higher poverty levels.Utah test
scores are slightly higher than the national average ONLY because we are richer
and whiter than the average.When compared with our demographic
peers, Utah falls far behind in every category (Search for "Utah Foundation
Report #681" for details).
Poqui, Not true. Utah is in the middle of the pack in % of budget going to
education and 41st (as the article states) in terms of funding effort for
education. In other words, we're no longer even making a significant effort
towards educating our large number of kids.
Utah leads the nation in % of state budget spent on education. So
you could say we are dead last in per-pupil spending or you could say that we
are #1 in the nation in % of state budget spent on educating our children.The glass is half full as well...
Hey, Al, you are right on. I am going to take it a step further and ask that
the Utah legislation and all politians go through the same strict security
clearances and fingerprinting every time they turn around. Then, if they can't
pass, fire them like they do the teachers.
Interesting that some of the worst states as far as education are concerned have
the highest per pupil funding. They also have the strongest teacher's unions.
Coincidence? Don't think so.
Imagine what our state could do if we had even average funding!
Is there a correlation between the amount spent per student and student
achievement? Perhaps our students are being short-changed, or perhaps Utah is
good at getting a big bang for their education dollar.
The real problem is about 10 years ago the legislature changed school funding
laws.It used to be all income tax went to public education for
k-12.They changed it so that it now includes higher education.Do you realize what size that chunk is?It is huge!
Is there was something out there about how many actually send their children to
Private or Charter Schools in the state of UT? That would be interesting to see
the division of funds for private education vs public. That would also show why
people want to have better education choices when there is not enough money in
direct line to the students' learning. How does UT rank with SAT?
something to be proud of!!! Way to go Utah!!! Maybe that dead last education
will produce A grade students??? I don't think so.
Places like NY and CA and IL have massive amounts of kids out of the public
school system and in parochial schools. So more dollars can be spent per child.
Also cost of living. Costs more to live in other states.
Students from eastern states typically do better on the ACT while Utah (and
students generally from western states) will do better on the SAT. Since most
eastern colleges put emphasis on the SAT, only a small minority of Utah students
will take the SAT, usually the best and brightest. Same situation for NY for
those students who want to go to a western college like a Stanford where the ACT
is the standardized test of choice.I think Utah has gotten away with
low investment in public education. With a strong LDS based of mostly involved
parents from a homogeneous population, this helped keep scores higher,
graduation rates higher etc. despite the lack of funding. However, times are a
changing. Our population is fast becoming diverse, parents are spending less
time with their children, Utah's divorce rates are close to the national
average. These factors will strain public education in Utah. Teacher morale a
generation ago, even ten years ago, was much higher. Utah is possibly teetering
on education disaster if the prevailing attitude persists.
It is NOT about How much you spend,IT is NOT about where place in
some list,results have so much to do with a number of things not
realtedto money,But what is the proper amount to educate pupil?Why is no one intersted in answering that?Why the obsession
with meaningless lists? what if utah doubled the money so they
are at top the lists and still got the same results? would that
money well spent? it's not about lists, it about
what is the actual cost to educate a student and many other factors.
re: so-what"There are no reliable or valid means of measuring
quality of education....Our schools are actually "dumbing down" factories in
many places. It is one reason that parents who care about their kids "quality"
of education do HOME SCHOOLING."So many problems with this
statement. First, you say there's no way to measure quality, then you assert
that the quality is low. How, exactly, did you measure that? Secondly, I
would contend that parents that care about their kids and want them to do well
in this world are big enough to untie the apron strings and let them be exposed
to varying world-views. No matter how much education I get, I will never be
qualified to home-school my children because I only represent one world-view.
Critical thinking skills are developed by being exposed to a foreign idea,
deciding whether there is validity to that idea, and forming an opinion. How
can this be developed if one never encounters different opinions? There's a
reason companies always look to hire people with diverse backgrounds--the more
ideas that enter a room, the more likely the company can be innovative.
re: dispel"America had a higher literacy rate when there were no
public schools."I love this kind of Fox News lack of substance fact.
America's literacy rate in 1870 - 80%, now? over 99%. While there were no
surveys done before 1870, we can assume rates were even lower--as public
education became more widespread, so has literacy.Also, when exactly
was this supposed period before public schools? In this country, there have
been public schools since the Puritans landed.
Interestingly enough, Utah and Idaho, the two states with the lowest per-student
funding rank quite high when it comes to actual performance. The National Center
for Education Statistics, a government tracker of student scores on standardized
tests shows Utah and Idaho students above the national average in almost
everything--particularly when looking at the 8th graders. They even outdo the
top spending state of New York in most categories. It seems that these two
states have managed to do more with less. In contrast, if you look at Nevada,
Arizona, New Mexico, California, and virtually any state south of Utah from the
east to the west coast, the scores are subpar, even when states spend more. This
is only one study to show comparisons, so if anyone else has others, I'd love to
see them. But for right now, I don't think you can say that per student spending
is a good benchmark for success rates.
Hey folks, take comfort in the fact that money spent on pupils does Not
correlate into students' quality of education.There are no reliable
or valid means of measuring quality of education. Many of the worst schools in
the US spend obscene amounts on students and get very poor outcomes. The third
world nations produce brilliant scholars with very poor resources. Our schools
are actually "dumbing down" factories in many places. It is one reason that
parents who care about their kids "quality" of education do HOME SCHOOLING.Throwing money at schools does not necessarily equate to improving
education.Look at what schools teach and don't teach then decide
what is valuable to keep or throw out. This includes teachers and
administrators.I'm from L.A. and speak from the ugly experiences in
schools there. Money is not always the answer to everything.
Going to make some generalizations here, so go ahead and fire away. But judging
from the comments and incorrect spelling on this message board, a lot of you are
all the proof the state board of education needs that Utah should increase
spending per pupil. Take some initiative, get some more
education/training, and get a job that pays more so you can be contributing tax
payers instead of parasites on the system. Yes, I'm talking to you that spend
all day on message boards complaining about everything from religion to
America had a higher literacy rate when there were no public schools. Case in
point - America elected Obama...that should tell you something. Public schools
are of little value. The real value is in parent involvement, not public
Utah is running out of excuses when it comes to adequately funding education.
Our families may be larger than the national average but we are far from the
bottom in our per capita income.As our state's per capita income
increased we had the opportunity to move away from our "bottom of the
pile'ranking and invest more in the education of our children. In every poll
taken, Utahn's resoundingly say they want more spent on education. So why has
public education continued to be given a smaller percentage of the state budget
each year? The Utah Tax Payers Association, along with many
legislators consistently fight an increase in enough money to remove us from the
bottom of the list in spending on public education They continually spew the
line that more money does not equal better education. That logic does not apply
when you spend more than $1000 LESS than the next lowest state on the list.More money can equal better education if you lower class size, update
classroom materials, or provide better student support services by increasing
the number of counselors, or school nurses.
Re.: Orem Parent, OK lets discuss the ACT scores for UT compared to states that
have higher PPS:(PPS rank in brackets)State-ACT Avg.-% of
Grads tested-Rank in ACTUT(51)21.8 68% 24thNY(2)
23.1 25% 7thNJ(1) 23.1 16% 6thMA(7) 23.9 18% 1stNat. 21.1 45%
N/AJust for fun, here is the SAT;State-SAT Avg.-% of
Grads tested-Rank in SATUT(51)1657 6% 20thNY(2)
1466 85% 46thNJ(1) 1506 76% 36thIA(28)1813 3% 1stNat. 1509 46%
N/AMore interesting, look at graduation rates!
Bring back the food tax! You pay more with larger families and eat more. It is
a great head tax.
Let's not forget that 100% of our income tax in this state goes to fund
education, and few people want taxes raised. I moved here from a state where we
paid for some of the things we get for free here, such as paper, crayons,
tissues, field trips, etc. We give our students quite a bit without spending
the amount other states do. Oh, and that state I moved from? Property tax 350%
higher than here.
How about we require proof of citizenship before enrolling any students in our
schools? That would take some of the strain off the system right there.I also think it's only fair that if you have more kids in the system,
you need to be paying more for their education - but unfortunately those with
more kids are usually the ones using fee waivers, while the rest of us are
covering the expenses.
Re: "Scooter"You are right the conservatives in this state like
their pet projects.If it makes money for them or their friends they
are for it.Conservatives where for the Iraq war because it made them
money. Conservatives are tied to charter schools so they fund
them, they are tied to building projects so they fund them, they change the tax
code to save money for themselves so they take money from the children. Follow the money they are greedy individuals that care nothing for the success
of the overall state/country.Re: "Independent"Do you
have any proof?I have lived in other states they make fun of our education
funding. The conservatives in this state care about themselves not for the most
Come on, Molly. This is old news. Reporting each year on Utah being last in
per student expenditures would be comparable to reporting each year that Kings
Peak is still the highest point in Utah. It just doesn't change. And until it
does, there is no new news here.But if you insist on reporting on
this, perhaps you could spend a little more on reporting how Utah leads the
nation on return per dollar spent. Yea. Mention how we always manage to rank
high on the number of students continuing with higher eduction. And do quite
well on many other measurables. All this is spite of the handicap of
expenditure per student.
To get an idea of what all of this costs-In an effort to reduce
class sizes, between 1993 and 2007 the state spent over $700 million on top of
its regular education funding.The net result? 2 teachers. The National Education Association says we should get our class sizes
down to 15 students. Utah is at 26 currently. To get down to 15 it would cost
an additional $900 million per year plus $4 billion for land and buildings.
lowest spending......and the majority are still smart enough not to vote for
obonehead the marxist.The spend gobs of money in DC and yet their
graduation rates are in the toilet.Hmmmm. Go figure.I would say this is not rocket science BUT clearly it is the equivlent
if your brain is impaired withe degenerative disease known as liberalism.
Just take one moment and ask yourselves whether you are a Democrat or Republican
how much additional money would it take to raise the average money spent per
pupil to the average spent pupil nationally. It is just an impossible goal
given the relative meager earning power of average Utahn's. The fact is Utahn's
no matter which political party is running things will not achieve such funding
levels. Utah needs new innovation in how to educate and train its
children if excellence is to be achieved. This old and tired industrial age
model is not what we need in the 21st Century. There are better ways to train,
educate, and fund than we are currently doing. But, resistance to changes is
always very difficult, so we plod along year after year with average results,
dissatisfied workers(teachers), and the highest income and property taxes in the
intermountain West by a fairly high margin.
I absolutely believe that familial emphasis on education has an impact on test
scores and other things that are supposedly empirical ways of measuring
achievement. However, to assume that great teachers won't respond to economic
incentives and teach elsewhere is naive. My father has been teaching for 31
years in Utah. It makes me so angry when I hear people say that teachers do just
fine and should stop claiming they are underpaid. He had to work 2-3 jobs
YEAR-ROUND to provide for us kids. I understand the tax situation is difficult
in Utah, but I for one believe overburdened teachers deserve much more credit
for their devotion and pay for their performance.
$5,000 times 20 is $100,000. Class sizes are more than 20. Why does so much
money go to things not directly related to the classroom?
Charles, there is a way you could not be 'Sick' in this State ... figure it
out!If we dumped all the money in your pet project, others would be
upset because their project does not get enough. Everybody has a pet project
that runs on OPM (Other Peoples Money) & OPM is just like the 'Drug', very
addictive & always wanting more!Throwing money at something does not
make it better, but managing the money you get does make it run better.
Re: "Gandalf"Thanks, if we had more people like you in the
government then maybe things would improve around here.We spend more
money in putting out the fires in this state then keeping the fires from
starting in the first place. Point, if we spend more money on the students in
this state we would then need to spend less money on the criminals that are
created because of a lack of success in schools. If we spend more money on the
students in this state we would then have a educated work force. (I know the
conservatives do not want this because they want the cheap labor, for example of
a conservative thought - look at Walmart they supported vouchers because it
hurts public schools in the end they will have more people that can only afford
a Walmart life.)
Three points. As a science teacher for 20 years in Utah public schools I
watched our supply budgets disappear as we had to pay for more and more fee
waver students. regular students got the shaft as we had to add more and more
free make up classes for those who failed. Guess who made up 85% of the make up
classes? Children of non citizens., We have been robbed by the federal
government of our school trust land income, we can't even get to much of it tied
up in parks and monuments and we never got a fair share of school improvement
funds because of the formula. Less than 70% of our land can be taxed..
Our administrative cost is light compared to other states. We have far fewer
administrators because we have larger districts and they all wear several hats
so cutting administrators will only hurt. Education gets a greater share of the
state budget compared to other states--We just don't have the tax base.
Do a simple study showing that an increase in per-pupil spending results in
marked improvement in aptitude and I'll go along with the mantra.Otherwise, we can stop with the insinuation and focus on more important
matters, such as curriculum--what is being taught.I'm concerned that
children today--on average--aren't as bright as they were 30, 40, or 50 years
back by the time they graduate from high school. It seems we've lost our
competitive edge. New buildings and more spending haven't produced
results. The issue is what is being taught, how it is taught, and if
sufficient discipline exists in the classroom to move each student
Conservatives DO sacrifice to educate their own children. They spend time at
home making sure their kids do their homework instead of relying on the
government workers to teach them everything, which translates into less of a
drain on teachers and schools. Many also send their kids to private school and
foot the bill themselves, on top of the taxes they pay to educate other kids. I
agree that teachers could be paid more, but does that necessarily translate into
better results for students? Is this debate about giving children a good
education or teacher pay? How can we offer everyone a "free" public education
and then complain year after year about how everybody's not paying enough? There
are plenty of wealthy concerned liberals out there. Why don't they foot the
Any result of high marks on students in Utah is only because of our teachers
and administration that are willing to make sacrifice upon sacrifice... not because Utah is helping them. This article is proof of that.
Psst. No matter which state you live in, the teachers unions and their friends
in government use some shred of data to show that your state is somehow last in
education. You'll find the same kind of story in a newspaper in every state in
the union. It's a tactic they use to perpetually increase funding and power.
Keep looking at the real issue: Whether or not children are getting an adequate
education. Sometimes money has nothing to do with it. Sometimes it does.
Generally speaking, if a kid goes to school, pays attention and does his work,
he's going to get a good education, regardless of where he lives. I doubt very
much that differences in the quality of instruction from state to state are
anything more than marginal on the whole.
Some states spend double what Utah spends and get far worse results. All public
schools need to cut the PC courses and get back to basics.
Let's be honest with ourselves Utahns. As long as conservatives control the
legislature, there will never by a significant increase in funding for public
education. It's as simple as that. The only way to improve public education is
to through out the "increased taxes over my dead body" crowd. It's a
sad comment on the current selfish status of the "conservatives" that they
aren't willing to sacrifice to educate their own children. That anti tax people
ought to be ashamed of themselves.
re: PDonty and ScooterIn Utah, only about 6% of our students take
the SAT...any guess on which ones?re: MayfairYou say
it's ok that we are dead-last in spending because we have teachers that care and
are dedicated. So what you're saying, is that because they're doing a good job,
we should make sure they don't get rewarded. Do you realize how offensive this
is to those very dedicated teachers? I was raised by a
teacher--it's very hard. Most teachers work AT LEAST two jobs to make ends
meet. While I take your point to mean that if teaching is very lucrative then
you will get people in it for the money, I don't see any harm in raising
salaries to a level where they could have a single job.Finally, for
a state in which the political climate seems very much to be against the idea of
a nanny-state, Utahns certainly do hold dear the idea that it is moral to have a
large family you can't afford and let the government and church pick up the tab.
Oops my bad.Mass = 23.9 on ACTNH = 23.5I'm
guessing these two states will also be at the top of the list in per pupil
spending.So there is your evidence that spending does equal success
no matter what you want to say about it.
Those who say Utah is fine with its pathetic effort at education funding because
our test scores are slightly above average should see what the Utah Foundation
says. Utah test scores are only higher because the state is richer and whiter
than most states. When compared with our demographic peers, our scores are just
as pathetic as our funding (i.e. Dead Last).Yes, you get what you pay
for...even in Utah.
NY = 23.1 average on the A.C.T. (2nd only behind connecticut)UT=
21.8 (middle of the pack)
Alan Sutton, I love it when people use the DC excuse as a reason why Utah should
cut education funding even further. Again, Utah is not DC. Do you even know the
the demographics for the DC area. I guarantee that if you trade the exact same
Utah students and trade them for the DC students, Utah would have to increase
spending significantly to meet the challenge, while DC would lower their
spending. Again, you cannot compare Utah with DC because they are two very
different worlds. I am becoming more aware of how insular Utahns are when I
read comments such as yours.
Hate the burst the bubble but NEW YORK was at the TOP of the list for ACT
scores!That is with some tough students.So yes $$$$ does
equal success in education.
jotab you question the 24% increase in spending per student by saying: James A. You cite a 24% incease. What about growth during that time? What
about the change in the demands of the students during that time? Do you make
the same salary now that you made in 1994?This 24% increase was
calculated after inflation! I apreaciate many of these comments and
the good sense many have to question this article. Now I wonder how do we make
it better? If spending per pupil is a rather poor indicator of a students
performance what does matter? Do Principles need more authority to fire poor
performing teachers? Is increased competition and the voucher program a good
idea? It is time to think outside the box, look at real data and stop beating a
broken drum over and over again.
NanBW, but there is a point where you can go too low in funding. I believe Utah
has reached such a point. Most classrooms now have to share class texts. No
wonder student reading scores are so low in Utah when they can't even take
material home. School time should be used to discuss and analyze homework, not
for doing homework.
'My points still stand, spending does not create smarter students & true
journalists should present non-biased information.' - 10:01 a.m. So, why should the public pay for public education at all?
Following this tired logic, Utahns should be responsible for their children's
education alone. Not the public, at all. I'm sure
parents would start asking for public assistance if they had to take
responsibility for the children they create. Instead of putting that
responsibility on public teachers... and then giving them the least
amount of money in the country.
Doug S, don't forget that NYC has the highest cost of living in the country and
the majority of NY state residents live in NYC, so it only stands to reason and
logic that New York's high expenditures would not necessarily mean high results.
People need to quit looking at places outside of Utah and then making direct
comparisons by looking at those places through a Utah prism. Comments such as
yours show a lack of critical thinking and analysis.
I have said many times there seems to be no relationship between the amount of
money spent per student and the success of the education system. Utah is a good
example of this.I raised my children at various place around the US and
abroad. Some of the schools were in places like NYC, Louisiana, Texas,
California and Hawaii. Most of those places had very high funding per child but
had poor schools. Our kids did fine because we, as parents, took education
seriously and worked with the kids. It is what the attitude of the families are
not how much they pay that makes the difference.BTW: All the kids went to
college, did well, and are working professionals now.
The Conservatives in this state make me sick.They always will come
up with some excuse of why they do not fund the children. They will spend
millions on a variety of self serving bills but short change or future and the
lives of thousands of students futures.
Re: JOTAB @ 9:14am ... There were alot more studies that could be
posted/discussed, but I am limited to 200 words.Studies on ACT, SAT,
Graduation Rates, Best High Schools, Standardized Tests, Etc., Etc. ... in all
of those UT ranked higher than the top 10 in per-pupil spending. My points still
stand, spending does not create smarter students & true journalists should
present non-biased information.
Re: CameronI am part of our district's negotiating team. Our BA
opens up the books to us and shows us the money that is available for this and
that. Then we work together to try to best manage what money goes where.We as teachers are involved in all the process and, therefore, see the
benefits of being fiscally responsible. We don't start with unrealistic
expectations or demands in order to try to fight for a compromise. The
district does not put forth any take-it-or-leave-it proposals. We work
together.As a result, our district is much better off financially in
this economically challenging time than most of the districts in the state.Our legislature is secretive. They try to 'hide' money from teachers.
They want to dictate where every penny goes instead of allowing individual
districts to decide where they need to spend it. Then they pretend they are
doing us a favor. Those are just a few respect issues. Financially, all I want is to be able to raise my family on my salary.
I agree with those comments that point out that per-pupil expenditure is not a
good indicator of student success. There is very little waste in Utah's
educational system. The system in Washington, D.C., for example, has one
"administrator" for every 6 students, while Utah's ratio is 1 administrator for
each 25 children. Clearly, there is too much administration and not enough
education in the D.C. schools. Furthermore, Utah's students achieve test scores
at a much higher level than other states whose per-pupil expenditure is much
higher than Utah's. This all means that Utah's education system is one of the
Be positive. This insures the future of Utah as a red state.
It's funny. If you graph the amount spent per student by state with the average
SAT scores for those states (like I just did) you get a negative correlation.
Test scores decrease as funding increases. It would seem that Utah leads the
nation in educational efficiency.
Stay classy Utah.
Above average results for the least expense. Shouldn't that make Utah first in
the nation in education administration?
I agree that this is something to be proud of, given that Utah has on average
larger families than some other states. Congratulations to our school
administrators and teachers for good management. There are still those who
think that the measure of good education - and good government - is the level of
spending "achieved". Lower spending can be a good thing.
Some of the misinformation in these comments cannot go unchallenged. My2cents: Where in the world do you get the figure that 20% of Utah's
students are illegal immigrants? And immigrants don't pay sales tax? So, they
never buy anything? And they are receiving over $3,000 per month in welfare
benefits? Again source. Non-residents don't qualify for benefits.James A. You cite a 24% incease. What about growth during that time? What
about the change in the demands of the students during that time? Do you make
the same salary now that you made in 1994?Scooter: SAT scores
aren't a good measure for Utah since only highly motivated students head mostly
to eastern schools will take it. We will always skew high in Utah for that
reason.The big statistic in this article is the one about effort.
We have dropped from the top ten in effort to 41st. This is due to the
constitutional change in allowing Higher Ed to get part of the income tax and
the change to a single rate income tax. The last change took about 200 million
dollars out of Public Ed to give high earners a break.
Why does Salt Lake City School District spend $2,000 more per student than other
Salt Lake County districts? Because it has a windfall property tax from all of
the huge business properties.And its spending ability compared to
rural Utah districts is truly immoral.It's time for the legislature
to equalize tax spending when it comes to education. Why should children in
sparcely populated communities with little tax money receive an inferior
education to those in Salt Lake District or other metropolitan districts?Answer: Them that has the gold makes the rules.Remember,
Utah legislator: All of God's children are equal in His sight. Are they likewise
valued to you, or not?
From the article:"The Census Bureau also figured states' rankings
according to how much they spent per $1,000 in personal income. Utah ranked 41st
among the states in that measure, spending $37.86 on schools for every $1,000 in
personal income. That was less than the national average of $42.14."I read this statistic to mean that Utah not only spends the least in terms of
gross dollars per student, but also in terms of the percentage of our personal
income that goes towards education. If this is correct, then it would seem that
our high birth rate doesn't completely explain our low funding numbers.
@Al | 8:34 a.m."I know that most teachers would be fine with a
little less pay if it also meant an increased respect from our legislature."What would increased respect look like, if not more education funding?
It's interesting that no one seems to remember how the voters in the state
rejected the option to allow a minor part of the $5675 to assist parents who
wished to enroll their children in private schools. Utah has a lower percentage
of private school eductated students than almost any other state. If $2000 were
to be spent for each private school student, an additional $3675 would be
available for the public education system.You can't have it both
ways. If the UEA and the PTA could add some economic reality to their thinking,
that would be a great help.
Our state legislature is anti-education. I remember one of them saying that he
could use a certain report as ammunition against the teachers in budget talks.
This is their attitude towards education.I know that most teachers
would be fine with a little less pay if it also meant an increased respect from
our legislature.One of the things that keeps me in Utah is that I
have over twenty years in the retirement system, which is a good one. Now the
legislators would like to take that away, they tried this year but failed.Again, I know where my pay comes from, taxes. I don't want to increase
the tax burden on myself or anyone else. I just think that the legislature
should work WITH the teachers to try to improve education not try to find
ammunition with which to attack them. But then again, maybe if they just drink
and drive or do a little hot-tubbing it will all go away.
For me, this is actually something in which I take pride I graduated from Nebo
School district, which, according to the article, has the third lowest dollar
per student ratio in the state with the lowest dollar per student ratio. Yet,
after getting a full tuition scholarship to a state university, I'm well on my
way to a lucrative career. Man, if only the had spent more money on me!!
This article is very misleading!Best and Worst States For Education
Spending ranks all states by spending and shows the SAT Score Rank of its
students.The more money spent clearly does not show up in higher SAT
scores or graduation rates.New Jersey spends the most money. Its SAT
score rank is 36. New York is 2nd on the money spend, ranks 44th on SAT scores.
DC, though not a State, is 3rd on money spent is ranked 50th. The "Worst" State
for Education Spending is Utah yet its students rank 20th on the SAT score list
above NY, NJ & DC. Utah spends about 1/3 the dollars of NY, NJ & DC. Its
students do better than all of the Top 10 spenders on Education. Utah may be
considered a Best State for Education considering its bang for the dollar.Clearly money is not the only factor that impacts educational
performance. You may want to consider carefully your state's approach to
education. It appears more dollars on education does not lead to better results.
Tell your political leaders you want accountability for results not just money
spent.True journalist look at both sides of an issue!
The State of Utah, Depends on these un Educated Kids for a Ready and Willing
work Force.Cheap Help.You can see what the Legislature thinks about
Education. Have you written your Leaders and received a return Letter?No I
do not want one from his SecretarY or MAIL LADY.
And yet, just last week, IN THIS SAME NEWSPAPER, there appeared a story showing
how Utah has 15 of the best High Schools in the country. So less money + good
performance = efficiency. It's true that other states spend more. Other states
are also on the brink of bankruptcy.
We may be last in student spending, but we're right near the top in gasoline
prices...I wonder where all that extra money goes that we bilk out of the Utah
driver and the hapless tourist? Oh, yeah, that's right, it goes to fund those
never-ending road construction projects and to buy 900,000 more orange cones!
Glad we have our priorities straight!P.S.-This is intended as sarcasm,
folks, so don't get on your righteous high-horse and get mad!!!
One glaring omission: How does Utah compare in standardized test scores? What
about in other indicators of academic success, such as percentage of students
that finish high school or go to college?The article makes it sound
like the goal is to spend money. How much money we spend is significant in two
ways: 1) academic results produced, which is a matter of serving students'
needs, and 2) salaries, which is a matter of serving teachers' needs. That may
or may not correlate directly to the amount we spend.For example,
one of the top spenders is D.C. Are teachers or students better off there than
This is a very negative story with very little talk about where our students
stand nationally in educational skills. Granted it is a sad thing that we spend
so little on our schools, but lets see where we are in math, science, reading
and other skills. Let's look at the big picture and then see where we can make
improve things. New York spends the most and I use to live there and I will tell
you, they do NOT get their monies worth there. The saddest place is by far the
How about a few statistics on performance. Not one reference to a statistic
about how well (or poorly) our educators did?Unless we are dead last
in performance, I'd have to say that anecdotaly we must be getting more for our
money than New York.You can scream like the Greeks, but you still
can't squeeze money out of an economy that doesn't have it.
The real message here is that people are still using the wrong measuring stick.
If every state in the country doubled their per pupil spending today (including
Utah), Utah would still be in last place! Many of the states that spend far
more than Utah have worse educational systems.
Why do we have such a fixation on the idea that spending more money on education
improves it? There is an incredible waste of supplies in the schools, many of
which aren't needed to provide an education in the first place. There are also
too many high paid administrators who don't do enough work to justify their
salaries. I spent several years in education in a state that spends
more on education, via federal financial assistance, and the students were less
prepared (according to stats) there than in Utah. Better use of resources is one
solution. Focusing on improving basic skills rather than trying to provide
frills than have little to do with learning would also help.
I am so tired of these articles and the assumptions drawn from them. The
thinking goes something like this: more money for students = smarter students.
That seems logical but is that what is happening? How strong is the correlation
between dollars spent and academic achievement? In this very article we read
that despite having the lowest per pupil spending Utah does not have the lowest
academic achievement. It appears that at least in Utah the assumption does not
hold. Why? What about historical spending per student. A quick internet search
seems to show that from 1994 to 2004 on avg. per student spending increased by
almost 24%. So have our kids improved academic scores by 24%? Just food for
I believe our problem is systemic. I believe careful evaluation would reveal
that many in the upper levels of administration in our state education system
have a "Mr. English" syndrome; they are compensated well above anyone else.There is absolutely no value in trying to win the nation's competition
of dollars spent per student.My hat is off to the great teachers we
have in our school system, but the administration folks need to be taken to the
wood shed. A good house cleaning at the top would result in a dramatic change in
classroom size and available dollars to directly educate our children.
So, New York has the brightest students, the highest graduation rate, and the
most qualifying for higher education? Not!Per pupil spending is a
falacious statistic propagated to create teacher dissatisfaction and try to
excuse such policies as "no child left behind". Like government per se, it is
not how much money is spent.. Just how it is spent.
I would like to see a side-by-side article on results.You can say
that Utah doesn't care about kids, you can say that Utah doesn't care about
teachers, but you sound like a whining employee who claims that the corporate
across the street is so much better because the employees make another dollar an
hour. No matter what industry or organization you discuss, you have
to talk ROI- Return on Investment. What would that return be in education?
Graduation rate, college acceptance/scholarships, SAT/ACT scores, etc. Let's see
how Utah ranks in those areas and THEN see if there's a problem with spending in
relation to ROI.Looking at the states with the highest funding, I
would bet that many of them are at the opposite end of the chart when it comes
to results. They spend the most but get some of the lowest outcomes. Money
doesn't solve a problem, and in Utah's case, the lack of money doesn't cause a
problem. It's just something people complain about with a belief that the grass
is greener on the other side of the chart.
Dead last in spending. Thats OK because the Utah teachers I know
have something NO AMOUNT OF MONEY COULD EVER BUY: Dedicated, passionate, caring
for their students. The ones I know teach because they love
teaching, and they love the incredible influence for good they have on their
students.Wouldn't you rather have great teachers like that--than
ones who are focused on the $$$$??????
Utahns should be celebrating. Here in NY, taxes are triple those in Utah, with
lower success in education.
Is Utah is first for Home schooling? It would be nice to know if Utah families
also keep more of their children home and out of the public school system than
any other state. As a HS math teacher I can say that intense family involvement
in student daily life combined with a strong personal work ethic in our students
are the main contributors for keeping are student scores out of the gutter and
not the poor dollar per student ratio. Yes we could use a higher spending
contribution but managing that contribution must be a highest priority. In
today’s economic environment we must continue to do the best we can with
the little we have.
Now compare this data with the per income and taxes that Utah citizens pay for
education. This per pupil spending data is unrealistic when you consider that
taxes for education become general fund spending money. Do they also include all
the funds diverted from education to fund developers, UTA, and commercial loans?
Then there is the waste in building $20 million dollar schools that will
collapse in a minor earthquake. Per pupil spending in Utah is a fictitious and
corrupt ridden report.Then add to that fact that 20% of students in
our schools are illegal foreign nationals who don't pay taxes, sales or income.
They are living on welfare and food stamps provided tax free to them, at an
astonishing $40,000 of tax benefits a year to every one of them. That's a pretty
comfortable life for an illegal who is seeking a better way of life and doesn't
have to work or pay taxes for it. Most states don't fund foreign national forces
occupying their state either.These reports are made and designed to
show that we must be taxed more to fund education waste.
Utah's spending per pupil lowest--again.What they didn't mention:
Utah's test scores, graduation rates, and college attendance rates are above
average--again. Crime and poverty rates below average--again.How can
this be? What is so different about Utah? I think we all know the very non-PC
answer to that.
ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This makes me so mad!
If Utah and Idaho weren't so anti-intellectual, more money might be allocated to
education. We clearly need to do a better job in sex education as
well.I agree with Jasper, let's tax junk food and soda pop to help
fund education. The poor don't need those things to survive, so it's a fair
tax; whereas taxing real food is not ethical.
Anger! This just makes me so mad. Utah can complain about taxes all they want,
but we still don't spend for education. Come on, ranking 41 in the nation in
per $1000 spent. This shows our communities, population, and legislature cares
little about students.Utah is pathetic and should never say they
care about families or kids. They care about money. I'm so sick of hearing
this. Money doesn't mean a better education, but a lack of it means
a pathetic education- you get what you pay for. The poor kids of this state.
This isn't news to anyone that follows and cares about public education.
@JasperSqueezing a grape results in very little juice. Families,
particularly the larger ones don't pay much in taxes because they have no money
after clothing, feeding and sheltering their brood. Some don't pay a dime at
all. Large families don't have money to burn. Even when both
parents work, there are many families that get by only with government help. If
we were to place a greater tax burden on these families, they would require more
government help. Doing so seems counter-intuitive.
This entire situation of school funding is counter-intuitive. Given Utah is
dead last in funding, maintains the dubious honor as the nation's largest class
sizes, continues to demonstrate poor (relative) scores nation wide - thus
necessitating the unspoken social promotion rampant in middle/high school - why
does the state tax structure allow those who most utilize these resources pay
the least fair share? Instead of tax breaks for those with larger families they
should be paying more in taxes for education, etc. When I hear the incessant
whining about how the poor (or whomever) live off the public dole the
double-think about the existing tax structure is incredibly self-serving. If
the professed 'family-value' legislature were honest they'd restructure the code
to be more equitable, sin-tax fast-food and soda and then eliminate the sales
tax on food. The surplus in revenue would go a long way in providing the
resources necessary to initiate an education system of which the children