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Utah school districts

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K-12 Education in Utah
Flag of Utah.png
Education facts
State Superintendent: Martell Menlove
Number of students: 598,832[1]
Number of teachers: 25,970
Teacher/pupil ratio: 1:23.1
Number of school districts: 126
Number of schools: 1,020
Graduation rate: 80%[2]
Per-pupil spending: $6,212[3]
See also
Utah Department of EducationList of school districts in UtahUtahSchool boards portal
Education policy logo.jpg
Education policy project
Public education in the United States
Public education in Utah
Glossary of education terms
Utah is home to 126 school districts, 1,020 schools and 598,832 K-12 students.[4]

Quick facts

State school administrators

  • State Board of Education[5]
    • Terryl Warner, District 1
    • Keith M. Buswell, District 2
    • Michael G. Jensen, District 3
    • David L. Thomas, District 4
    • Kim R. Burningham, District 5
    • Dan Griffiths, District 6
    • Leslie B. Castle, District 7
    • Jennifer A. Johnson, District 8
    • Heather Groom, District 9
    • David L. Crandall, District 10
    • Jefferson Moss, District 11
    • Dixie Allen, District 12
    • C. Mark Openshaw, District 13
    • Debra G. Roberts, District 14
    • Barbara W. Corry, District 15


The following table displays the state's top 10 school districts by total student enrollment.[6]

Enrollment, 2011-2012
1.) Alpine School District
2.) Davis School District
3.) Granite School District
4.) Jordan School District
5.) Canyons School District
6.) Weber School District
7.) Nebo School District
8.) Washington County School District
9.) Salt Lake City School District
10.) Cache School District


See also: Demographic information for all students in all 50 states

The following table displays the ethnic distribution of students in Utah as reported in the National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data for 2011-2012.[7]

Demographic information for Utah's K-12 public school system
Ethnicity Students State Percentage United States Percentage**
American Indian 7,436 1.24% 1.10%
Asian 10,612 1.77% 4.68%
African American 7,967 1.33% 15.68%
Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. students 9,024 1.51% 0.42%
Hispanic 91,722 15.32% 24.37%
White 463,938 77.47% 51.21%
Two or more 8,133 1.36% 2.54%
**Note: This is the percentage of all students in the United States that are reported to be of this ethnicity.

In the news

Last-place finish in per-pupil spending analysis

An analysis of United States Census Bureau information by Ben Casselman of FiveThirtyEight found that Utah had the nation's lowest per-pupil spending in 2012. Utah spent $6,193 per student in 2012 compared to a national average of $10,608 per student. School districts across the state decreased per-pupil spending by 8.9 percent from 2009 to 2012, while the national average was a decrease of 5.5 percent. Casselman's analysis also found that 92.5 percent of Utah districts decreased per-pupil spending between 2009 and 2012, compared to 66.3 percent nationwide.[8]

Marty Carpenter, a spokesperson for Governor Gary Herbert, countered that public education spending still uses two-thirds of the state's annual revenues. The governor's office noted that $850 million was allocated to public schools from 2009 to 2012. Carpenter also stated that state spending on education was maintained even as tax revenues significantly dropped.[9]

State law

Common Core

Common Core, or the Common Core State Standards Initiative, is an American education initiative that outlines quantifiable benchmarks in English and mathematics at each grade level from kindergarten through high school. The Utah State Office of Education adopted the standards on August 8, 2010. Full implementation took place during the 2013-2014 academic year.[10][11]

School board composition

Utah school board members are generally elected by residents of the school district, although some school board members are appointed to fill vacancies until the next election for the seat is held. Utah school board elections are typically conducted by precinct or district, with voters selecting candidates within their board member district.[12]

School boards consists of five or seven members, depending on the number of students in the district. Board members serve four-year terms, which are often staggered every two years.[12]

District types

School districts in Utah are categorized by geographic boundaries. A municipal school district serves students in a particular city. A county school district operates schools within an entire county.[13]

Term limits

Utah does not impose statewide term limits on school board members. However, terms limits on school board members can still be imposed on the local level.[12]

School board elections

Upcoming elections

See also: Utah school board elections, 2015

No top enrollment districts in Utah are scheduled to hold elections in 2015.

Path to the ballot

To qualify for the ballot as a school board candidate in Utah, a person must be:[14][12]

  • A citizen of the United States
  • A resident of the school district for at least one year prior to the election
  • A registered voter in the school district

Board members are also not allowed to be employees of the school district during their board terms.[12]

Candidates submit declarations of candidacy and other supporting documents to the county elections office.[14]

Campaign finance

State law requires candidates to submit financial disclosure requirements to county elections officials before and after each election.[14]

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
  2. ED Data Express, "State Tables Report," accessed March 17, 2014 The site includes this disclaimer: "States converted to an adjusted cohort graduation rate [starting in the 2010-2011 school year], which may or may not be the same as the calculation they used in prior years. Due to the potential differences, caution should be used when comparing graduation rates across states."
  3. United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
  4. United States Department of Education, "2012 EDFacts State Profile," accessed August 8, 2013
  5. Utah State Board of Education, "Board member bios," accessed June 13, 2014
  6. National Center for Education Statistics, "ELSI Table Generator," accessed July 11, 2014
  7. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey, 2011-2012," accessed May 7, 2014
  8. FiveThirtyEight, "States That Already Spent Less on Education Have Made Bigger School Cuts," June 10, 2014
  9. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah’s last-in-nation spending on students fell even further," June 12, 2014
  10. Common Core State Standards Initiative, "Core Standards in your State," accessed June 12, 2014
  11. Utah State Office of Education, "Utah Core Standards," accessed June 17, 2014
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Utah State Legislature, "Local boards of education -- Membership -- When elected -- Qualifications -- Avoiding conflicts of interest.," accessed July 9, 2014
  13. Utah State Legislature, "Boards of education -- School board districts -- Creation -- Reapportionment.," accessed July 10, 2014
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Salt Lake County Clerk, "Candidate Information Booklet," accessed July 9, 2014