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In DC, they get the third largest amount of per-pupil spending in the country,
but their school system is ABYSMAL. Money is only a small part of the equation
when evaluating schools. You have to look at the culture of the community and
teachers, the horrible administration (in DC) that rewards do-nothing teachers
year after year and cannot seem to manage their budget no matter what. Their
answer is always to throw more money at the problem (it is DC, after all) but
nothing ever changes. My step-daughter went to the best DC public school, which
was still horrible (her choice) her last two years of high school. One teacher
took the first ten minutes of every class period selling candy bars to his
student for his own personal profit, and it was ignored. Another teacher would
not allow my daughter to buy a book she needed for the class because, she said,
it wouldn't be fair to the rest of the students who couldn't get one,
even though they could get copies. Another refused to write a recommendation
for my daughter for college because she wasn't going to "help any white
girl get into college." Utah should be held up as a shining example of how
the culture of the community, the involvement of the parents, wise budget
management, good administrators, etc. is what makes the difference. Money is
helpful, but it isn't the whole story.
This story and all like it are misleading the public. In Utah, we get a lot more
for our public education dollar. Compare, for instance the cost of buying a home
in Utah to what you get in many other places. Or, take the taxes we pay toward
education as a portion of the earnings of tax payers and Utah is spending is
towards the top. In Utah, per pupil spending rivals most private education in
the state. And, though we can always do better, Utah has placed #1 in the nation
on the ACT the last two years in a row.
The article should also show high school graduation rates, ACT/SAT scores, and
rates of post high school education. As a resident of NY with no children in
school, I want to see how the state benefits from the pricey education we
provide the students.Anyone know what the tuition is for Exeter?
Maybe we should send our kids there.
Mom of Five: Special education funding comes from the evil federal government
and thus not figured in on any state's funding average.
It's not how much you spend, but how you manage those resources.
The real story should be "look how inexperienced the teaching staff is at
your local school". At our local middle school, over 1/4 of the 50 or so
teachers are brand new out of college. Add on to that the number of student
teachers we will get and you will quickly see what being the lowest spending
state gets you.Utah teachers do an excellent job with the pittance
they are given but I would really love to see what they could do if we raised
our educational spending to even middle of the pack.Sadly, I've
given up hope that will ever happen. We will continue to be mediocre and people
will still say we are spending too much. Sad.
There is ONE solution! The lottery in Utah! Not only would it go to education,
but it would help our roads too, like all the other states that have it! It
should be passed & if you are against it, then DON'T purchase a ticket!
Unions want more money to hire more teachers which equates to more union members
and more dues being paid to unions which means more power to unions and more
money going to elect Progressive Democrat or corrupted politicians.I wish
more teachers would realize they're being used by unions to achieve
Utah by far spends more of its state budget than any other state on education,
upwards of 50% compared to a national average of 25%. Where does more money
come from for education?
The issue here is not how much it's spent but how it's used and how
effective it is.Utah has the alleged lowest cost per student according to
the article but yet high tech companies come to utah for their high skill high
tech work force which would indicate that we have a high precentage of high
school grads as well as college grads go through our school system that come
well prepared to meet the demands of a high tech economy.So stop judging
based of what our "PER STUDENT" expenses are. in most cases high cost
it's incured due to union negotiated over blown benefit pacakages and
wages, or high cost of living and not due to quality education.
Everyone misses the point of spending money on education. Obviously, spending
more money on salaries and benefits will not 'fix' education any more
than raising salaries for legislators will ensure better laws. Teachers need
and deserve more money for the job they do because they do it better than anyone
else. Teachers are trained to teach, and the vast majority of Utah teachers do
a great job. Utah's education system is not 'broken', it does
very well considering the low per pupil spending compared to other states.
Education is not the sole responsibility of the school and the teachers,
everyone involved must buy in for the benefit of all. An educated society
prospers. As a veteran teacher of 40 years, I am still teaching and plan to keep
teaching as long as I can. I'm not perfect by any measure, however I do
know how to do my job and I would like to be paid well for doing it. It was
disheartening to say the least, when my children were in school, they qualified
for free lunch because the salary was so low. But they are all well-educated and
successful because they cared about their education and we, the parents, also
Please remember that the per pupil spending is distorted by the enormous amounts
of money that are spent on special education students. I don't begrudge any
of it, but it does make it look like we are spending a lot more than we really
are on most students.
Until the numbers are adjusted for cost of living, they don't tell us
anything at all. Washington, D.C. is quite a bit more expensive than Utah, and
the issues facing students in the two places are quite different.
I wonder what percentage of the state revenue, in each of the states, go to
education. I think that may be a better comparison.
The Economic Principle of Supply and Demand works as well for Teacher's
salaries as it does for apples and oranges. If teachers move away for better
paying positions, and Utah has fewer to draw from, salaries are likely to
increase. I understand that the desire to be with families and
friends, gives an abundant supply of teachers to Utah; but teachers, the rest of
the world could use your talents and help -- not only in teaching, but in
building up the Kingdom of the Lord, if you're so inclined. However, most
Utahans I have seen living away from home feel they can't adjust to the
outside world and can't wait move back to Utah. But really, the mission
field isn't all that bad. Try it, you might like it! This may
be just another incentive the Lord can use to encourage LDS to leave Utah where
there is an overabundance of unused talent, and go to places where they and
their talents are needed much, much more.
What I find interesting is that Utah spends less than any other state, yet
scores #17 in the nation on the SAT, and #21 on the ACT. I would say Utah has
done a pretty good job at spending less, and getting better outcomes that over
half the other states in the Union all while saving the tax payers money.Great job, Utah!
Even though Utah may be lowest spending, I'm sure their test scores reflect
a much higher ranking nationally. The correlation and spending isn't
linear. Here in Hawaii, I know we rank number 48 nationally for our education,
but are number 15 in spending. Lots of waste! I wish Utah had the
weather/beaches we have here, I'd move in a heart beat.
$7,000 plus per student?!! Wow. Let's see. Rent a 2,000 sq ft facility:
50,000 a year. Utilities: 12,000 per year. Pay the teacher $75,000 per year
and have 22 students in the class and you still end up with $47,000 left over.
The problem with the current public education system is the waste in the system.
Let the parents take their kid to any accredited school they want
and the 7k goes with them. Quickly you will see schools improve because they
would actually compete for the kids and provide a great education. Good
teachers would be paid more and bad teachers would lose their jobs. Why do we
insist on supporting the public monopoly that is public schools? When there is
a monopoly the consumers lose! We believe in school choice at the college level
but for some reason we believe in inefficient monopolies for our younger
children? The biggest civil rights issue of our day is the fact that a huge
number of minority and poor students are forced to attend bad and dangerous
schools. School choice would change all of that.
Yeah...you guys hit it on the head--I am sure that more money wouldn't help
decrease class sizes, help put more technology into classrooms, and increase
student learning. But what do I know? Afterall, my education-bachelor and
master's degree--still keeps me behind the pay of the uneducated high
school janitor in my district!
Oh yes, throw more money at a broken system. That always works.BTW,
how is the war on drugs going?
If any of you actually want education spending as high as NY, then get ready to
pay $500-$1000 per MONTH in school taxes (ours were $650). And one would think
that with all those taxes, the schools would be swimming in money. But many of
the schools have deteriorating buildings, out of date computer labs, etc. And we
were constantly asked to contribute to fundraisers and donate paper, batteries,
tissues, pencils, crayons, paper cups...I'm not saying that there is
no room for improvement in Utah. I haven't lived in the state for ~10
years, so I'm fairly ignorant about your current situation. All I can say
is that ~10 years ago, there was NO drastic difference between UT and NY in
terms of actual educational output, despite spending triple the amount of money.
As a former upstate NY resident, let me put in my 2 bits on why NY spends so
much. A large portion of that money is NOT spent on the teachers or the
classrooms. The superintendents, union leaders, and other hangers-on are making
well above 6 figure incomes and some are up around 250-300k per year. These
people also wield an enormous of power, not just in the schools, but in the
communities and cities as well. The schools also have to pay for the (no joke)
child molesters and other criminals to sit in a room all day doing crossword
puzzles. They are not allowed to interact with students, but they are too hard
to fire, and the school districts finds ways to protect them from being
@DN SubscriberWhy are you using a one point sample size (well two, DC and
Utah)? That just throws out context when you cherrypick an outlier like DC. We
should probably be looking at charts that display all 51 not just an
overachiever (Utah) and underachiever (DC).
"If you notice the vast majority of the highest spending states have very
little if any of their land under federal control; consequently they have much
more private property that can be taxed "Massachusetts,
Delaware, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maryland, and a lot of those other eastern
states do not have a lot of land relative to the giant states out west like
Utah, Montana, Wyoming, and Nevada, even when subtracting federal land.
@ DN Subscriber"We spend enough on education. Do better with
what you get"So, so false. If we are doing well as a state with
our education circumstance and our education results - why should we be punished
as a state with less funding than others? If we don't give a pay increase
to the teachers, let's at the very least, spend on materials, enrichment
programs, roomier facilities or MORE teachers to spread all the students around
to. If we are doing well enough with less money - imagine what we could do with
a comparable amount of money as other states get? To give us less funding
because we do well, and more funding to those who do not so well, sounds like
reverse discrimination to me.
Washington, DC, spends over $17,000 per pupil compared to Utah's $6,206.Would any one in Utah, especially teachers or school employees rather
have their children get the education provided by the District of Columbia
Schools? Anyone? Anyone, Buehler?Of course, not. That just proves
that the measure of performance for schools is not the amount of money spent,
but how much the students learn.Utah's teachers do a great job,
even with large class sizes. But, part of the credit for the great education
our children get is due to parents who value education and their involvement in
teaching, and in the expectation that kids will attend school, behave and do
their homework. The students of course deserve credit for doing their part as
well. With the larger than average family size, kids are used to being around
other kids, and many already have been teaching to or learning from their
siblings.Today's "we don't spend enough" story is
an attempt to erase memory of yesterday's report on the stellar performance
of Utah students (and teachers), so the teachers union can go back to demanding
more money.We spend enough on education. Do better with what you
happymomto9 Saratoga Springs, UTboy, give me 10% of that
to educate my children!i home school my children for about 1% of that and
they excel.with that kind of funding our school systems should be
accomplishing a whole lot more than they are!-----------------So you have 9 in your classroom....hmmmm. See what small classrooms can do
for students? Do you think you would have this success if you had 40 students?
As a retired teacher, I know how difficult it was to teach a room packed with
students while lacking appropriate media materials etc. to teach in my subject
area. However, seeing that Utah and Idaho are at the bottom of the list, do we
ever consider to add the amount of money spent on the LDS seminaries, who are
taking a big load off the public schools during the school day. Granted, all the
9-12 graders are not taking seminary, but many are. What would happen if the
seminaries were to disappear and that load of kids came back into the public
system? The state would be forced to increase spending to accommodate them and
the per/pupil expenditure would raise, taking us off the extreme bottom as we
All three of the preceding comments are excellent. Especially the one from
Ockams Razor. On my tax statement, over 3/4 of my property tax goes to public
education. I do want to thank the teachers for what they do for the children of
this state, and tell the parents, that school is not just a daycare where you
can drop off your kids to be babysat. get involved with the school, watch the
curiculum, take interest in what your kids are being taught and what they are
really learning. Your childrens teachers will thank you, and untill the tax
base increases, it may be all the help and thanks they will get.
I used to think that low per pupil spending in Utah was all about the high
number of children in Utah. Then I moved out of Utah, and realized that Utah has
one of the lowest property tax rates, which fund education. Property taxes in
Utah are 1/3 that of many states. There is likely a "sweet spot" where
there is diminishing returns of more funding for public education but I'm
certain that Utah isn't close to that. If you really think Utah should stop
being dead last in per-pupil spending then it seems you need to accept increased
property tax rates.
We also know due to the demographics that at 19% Utah has the highest percentage
of the State population in elementary-secondary education.And yet
despite this, the article here on this site just yesterday pointed out that our
students have the highest ACT scores.So much for the theory of
throwing more money at the problem automatically equals a better education.
boy, give me 10% of that to educate my children!i home school my children
for about 1% of that and they excel.with that kind of funding our school
systems should be accomplishing a whole lot more than they are!
If you notice the vast majority of the highest spending states have very little
if any of their land under federal control; consequently they have much more
private property that can be taxed and used to bolster their education coffers.
States like ours are overwhemingly federal and tax exempt but still have to
educate our youth, which we do pretty well with what we have.
yeah, you are right...personally, though, I am tired of being told that
"none" of us work for the money and that we teach just for the kids!
Don't get me wrong...I love the kids, but I work to support my family. It
would be nice to at least get good enough health benefits to keep my wife from
having to get a job too....
Well.... this isn't news. If you work in Education in Utah, you already
know you could do a lot better in another state. So why do they keep it so low?
Because legislators know that a lot of us have learned from childhood to
"serve" our fellow man, so we are just glad to have a "Thank
You" in the form of a tiny pay check at the end of the month. So, why do we
stay? Because it's Utah, and family and church are all here. So we
struggle through the over-sized classes in under-sized rooms, the hard kids and
the demanding parents, the want of materials and budgets, and the ever changing
and demanding curriculum standards, because we like to think we are making a
"difference". So, hug a teacher today, everyone! Warm Fuzzies are one
of the only perks of the job.