in Utah

Utahns value children and families more than anything. They recognize that a high-quality education is critically important to build great communities and to provide their kids with a good life. Well-educated people have better opportunities to get good jobs and provide for their families. Through education, people also gain knowledge and experience that make them better citizens, which in turn leads to a better, more secure community for themselves and future generations.

An educated workforce attracts employers and fosters innovation, creating a robust economy. In fact, Utah economists rate workforce education levels as having a greater impact on the state’s economy than any other factor. Those with postsecondary education also tend to be:

  • More civically engaged through voting and volunteering
  • Healthier
  • Less likely to be incarcerated
  • Less likely to commit crimes
  • Less likely to need social services, such as food stamps, unemployment benefits, etc.

In sum, education is the key to a safe, prosperous, and neighborly community.


Utah stands out from the rest of the country because it has the highest birthrate, the most children per capita, and fewer taxpayers to fund each child’s education. Utah has the lowest per-pupil spending in the nation. Currently, the largest portion of education funding comes from state income taxes, followed by property taxes, some federal taxes, and other sources. Even though Utahns work hard to do as much as they can with fewer resources, students continue to drop in educational achievement relative to students in other states.

Though many educational performance indicators in Utah are improving, the state’s ranking on other indicators is dropping in comparison to other places in and outside the United States where educational improvements are being implemented faster. Further, in Utah, too few students are graduating from high school or from higher education institutions to meet the needs of future employers, particularly in Utah’s growing high-tech sector. The national economy is changing, and more jobs now require degrees or certification beyond high school. To be competitive in a global economy, Utah will need a highly educated populace, which will require significant investment, not only to keep up with population growth, but also to improve our education system so students can reach a higher level of achievement. The long-term investment Utah makes in education now will significantly affect Utahns’ lives and the state’s economy over the next 35 years, but the investment must be put into strategies that have proven to be effective and that are supported by Utahns.