In April and May 2015, 52,845 Utahns shared their voice through the Your Utah, Your Future survey. Participants chose their favorite scenarios for education and other topics. After choosing their favorite scenarios, survey participants had the option to answer a series of questions to prioritize education among other issues, determine the most important outcomes related to education, and identify how willing they would be to take specific actions to ensure those outcomes. The survey results were cross-checked against a random-sample survey to ensure they represented the desires and opinions of Utahns.

What Utahns Want

78% chose the Quaking Aspen and Sego Lily scenario. This scenario elevates Utah to be among the top 10 states in academic achievement, ensures that all Utahns have access to a high-quality education, and results in a highly educated workforce. This scenario included a 5% increase in education spending for five years through allocating Utah budget surpluses, reallocating from other priorities, or increasing taxes to fund the implementation of highly leveraged strategies.

Why Utahns Want It

For Utahns, the most important outcome of a good education is having an educated workforce that drives a strong economy. They also want the societal benefits that come with improving education, including having citizens who are more likely to volunteer, cast educated votes, and otherwise participate in society. Giving all people an opportunity to succeed through education is also highly valued by Utahns.

What Utahns Are Willing To Do

Most Utahns chose a scenario that packaged specific strategies and resulting benefits with a significant increase in education funding. Interestingly, however, when asked later in the survey if they were willing to raise taxes for education without any specific context or proposed strategies and outcomes, they were hesitant. This suggests Utahns want to know that the funds will be spent strategically on highly leveraged, proven strategies that will help all students succeed.

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Results Willing Ed


These results are from the 52,845 public responses to the Your Utah, Your Future survey. As part of that larger sample, 1,264 Utahns participated in a random-sample survey. The public responses and the random-sample survey results were virtually identical across all topics. However, of the random-sample group, somewhat fewer were willing to raise taxes for education, with 39% not or not at all willing, 34% somewhat willing, and 28% willing or very willing. In both samples, the somewhat-willing category included a much larger percentage of Utahns than in any other topic or survey question, suggesting that Utahns want more information about how high a tax increase would be and how the money would be spent. The larger outreach group also had more overall concern for education than the random-sample group and was more willing to make the tradeoffs needed to improve education. The more concerned about the future of education people were, the more willing they were to raise taxes and shift funds from other needs.

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