Monday, August 5, 2013

Utah's REAL Investment in Education Goes Unmeasured

Did you know that per student spending is about the dumbest way possible to measure anything about education? It is. Look, I'll prove it. Try taking what you make in Utah and living on it in San Francisco. See. Another example: New York spends the most per student at $19,000+ and Utah spends the least at $7,000+. However, I have family who live in New York where it costs more than three times as much for the housing, goods and services we have here (more than 4X more in the cities). So, is our spending proportional to top per-pupil spending states? Yes.
If you take education spending in Utah rather as a portion of the average household income, we rate near the top. If you determine education spending as a percentage of our state budget, we are near the top.
Did you also know that if you consider the percentage of household income Utah spends on it's students we rank THIRD (that's #3 in the nation). And, did you also know that Utah spends 100% of state income taxes on education and 64% of taxes collected overall. This does not include the portion of property taxes allotted to education or what is even more valuable the time donated by so many (often highly educated) volunteers. There is also something called Purchasing Power Parity.. basically what you can actually purchase for your dollar compared with what someone else can get for theirs... No state compares to Utah. 

Don't let anyone ever tell you that Utah doesn't invest in education. I would hold Utah up against ANYWHERE in the world.

If you consider something called Purchasing Power Parity.. basically what you can actually buy with your dollar... No state compares to Utah. 

*** Notes

  • HERE Utah spent more of its money on public education than most other states. In terms of spending as a percentage of all state and local government spending, it ranked 3rd in the nation, while in terms of spending as a percentage of personal income, it ranked 2nd.
  • Utah spent less money on each child’s education than any other state in the nation. Also, Utah’s average class size has been larger than any other state’s.
  • This article shows a few ways of cooking the books. .. like not including the money spent on higher ed. Also the national ranking on per pupil spending does not include building construction. "Utah ranks at the top in education spending when you include money spent for higher education," Jerman said. "Utah has made a decision to spend a higher proportion of its education money on higher education than other states do."

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