Public education in Utah

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K-12 Education in Utah
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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 Education
Utah school districts
List of school districts in Utah
Utah
School boards portal
Policypedia
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Education policy project
Public education in the United States
Public education in Utah
Glossary of education terms
Note: The statistics on this page are mainly from government sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Education Statistics. Figures given are the most recent as of June 2014, with school years noted in the text or footnotes.
The Utah public school system (prekindergarten-grade 12) operates within districts governed by locally elected school boards and superintendents. In 2012 Utah had 598,832 students enrolled in a total of 1,020 schools in 126 school districts. There were 25,970 teachers in the public schools, or roughly one teacher for every 23 students, compared to the national average of 1:16. There is roughly one administrator for every 450 students, compared to the national average of one administrator for every 295 students.[4] On average Utah spent $6,212 per pupil in 2011, which ranks it 51st highest in the nation. The state's graduation rate was 80 percent in 2012.[5]

State agencies

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State Education Departments

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See also
Utah Superintendent of Public Instruction
Utah school districts
List of school districts in Utah
Public education in Utah
School board elections portal
The Utah State Office of Education is led by the Superintendent of Public Instruction. The Superintendent of Public Instruction is appointed by the Utah State Board of Education and serves at the board's pleasure. The current officeholder is Martell Menlove.[6]

The mission statement of the Utah State Board of Education reads:[7]

Utah’s Public Education System keeps its constitutional promise by:
  • Ensuring literacy and numeracy for all Utah children.
  • Providing high quality instruction for all Utah children.
  • Establishing curriculum with high standards and relevance for all Utah children.
  • Requiring effective assessment to inform high quality instruction and accountability.[8]

The State Board of Education is responsible for the "general control and supervision of the public education system." The board is comprised of 15 elected, voting members and six appointed, non-voting members.[9]

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]

Regional comparison

See also: General comparison table for education statistics in the 50 states
See also: Education spending per pupil in all 50 states

The following chart shows how Utah compares to three neighboring states with respect to number of students, schools, the number of teachers per pupil, and the number of administrators per pupil. Further comparisons between these states with respect to performance and financial information are given in other sections of this page.

Regional comparison
State Schools Districts Students Teachers Teacher/pupil ratio Administrator/pupil ratio Per pupil spending
Utah 1,020 126 598,832 25,970 1:23.1 1:450.2 $6,212
Arizona 2,252 662 1,080,319 50,800 1:21.3 1:419.5 $7,666
Colorado 1,813 259 854,265 48,078 1:17.8 1:301.9 $8,724
Nevada 649 18 439,634 21,132 1:20.8 1:449.7 $8,527
United States 98,328 17,992 49,521,669 3,103,263 1:16 1:295.2 $10,994
Sources: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey", 2011-12 v.1a.

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
U.S. Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011,Governments Division Reports," issued May 2013

Demographics

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.[12]

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.

Enrollments by region type

See also: Student distribution by region type in the U.S.

A majority of students in Utah attend suburban schools. More than 67 percent of the state's students attend city or suburban schools, compared to approximately 33 percent who attend rural or town schools.

Student distribution by region type, 2011 - 2012 (as percents)
State City schools Suburban schools Town schools Rural schools
Utah 16.5% 50.9% 12.9% 19.7%
Arizona 48.5% 16.3% 10% 25.2%
Colorado 33.3% 32.6% 10.3% 23.8%
Nevada 38.5% 32% 6.6% 22.9%
U.S. average 28.9% 34% 11.6% 25.4%
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD)

Academic performance

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Education policy terms
Academic bankruptcyAcademic EarthAcademic performanceBlaine AmendmentCharter schoolsCommon CoreDropout rateNAEPProgressive educationRegulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation RateSchool vouchersTeacher merit pay
See also

NAEP scores

See also: NAEP scores by state

The National Center for Education Statistics provides state-by-state data on student achievement levels in mathematics and reading in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Compared to three neighboring states (Arizona, Colorado, and Nevada), Utah has the second highest share of fourth and eighth grade students who scored at or above proficient in both math and reading.[13]

Percent of students scoring at or above proficient, 2012-2013
Math - Grade 4 Math - Grade 8 Reading - Grade 4 Reading - Grade 8
Utah 44 36 37 39
Arizona 40 31 28 28
Colorado 50 42 41 40
Nevada 34 28 27 30
U.S. average 41 34 34 34
Source: United States Department of Education, ED Data Express, "State Tables," accessed May 13, 2014
NAEP assessment data for all students 2012-2013

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Graduation, ACT and SAT scores

See also: Graduation rates by groups in state
See also: ACT and SAT scores in the U.S.

The following table shows the graduation rates and average composite ACT and SAT scores for Utah and surrounding states.[13][14][15]

Comparison table for graduation rates and test scores*
State Graduation rate, 2012 Average ACT Composite, 2012 Average SAT Composite, 2013
Percent Quintile ranking** Score Participation rate Score Participation rate
Utah 80% Third 20.7 97% 1,684 6%
Arizona 76% Fourth 19.7 35% 1,551 35%
Colorado 75% Fourth 20.6 100% 1,721 14%
Nevada 63% Fifth 21.3 34% 1,454 48%
U.S. average 80% 21.1 1,498
*Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Rate (except for Idaho, Kentucky, Oklahoma, which did not report “Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate,” but instead used their own method of calculation).
**Graduation rates for states in the first quintile ranked in the top 20 percent nationally. Similarly, graduation rates for states in the fifth quintile ranked in the bottom 20 percent nationally.
Source: United States Department of Education, ED Data Express

Dropout rate

See also: Public high school dropout rates by state for a full comparison of dropout rates by group in all states

The high school event dropout rate indicates the proportion of students who were enrolled at some time during the school year and were expected to be enrolled in grades 9–12 in the following school year but were not enrolled by October 1 of the following school year. Students who have graduated, transferred to another school, died, moved to another country, or who are out of school due to illness are not considered dropouts. The average public high school event dropout rate for the United States remained constant at 3.3 percent for both SY 2010–11 and SY 2011–12. The event dropout rate for Utah was lower than the national average at 1.5 percent in the 2010-2011 school year, and 1.5 percent in the 2011-2012 school year.[16]

Educational choice options

See also: School choice in Utah

School choice options in Utah include: charter schools, a school voucher program, inter-district and intra-district open enrollment policies and online learning programs. In addition, about 2.91 percent of school age children in the state attended private schools in the 2011-12 academic year, and an estimated 2.67 percent were homeschooled in 2012-13.

Education funding and expenditures

See also: Utah state budget
Breakdown of expenditures by function in FY 2012.
Source: National Association of State Budget Officers

According to the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), the state spent approximately 24.7 percent of its fiscal year 2012 budget on elementary and secondary education. As a share of the budget, this is up 1.50 percentage points, or 6.5 percent, from fiscal year 2008, when the state spent 23.2 percent of its budget on elementary and secondary education.[17][18][19][20][21]

Comparison of financial figures for school systems
State Percent of budget (2012) Per pupil spending (2011) Revenue sources (2011)
Percent federal funds Percent state funds Percent local funds
Utah 24.7% $6,212 12.02% 51.19% 36.79%
Arizona 19% $7,666 14.69% 41.22% 44.09%
Colorado 25.3% $8,724 11.18% 40.41% 48.41%
Nevada 23.6% $8,527 10.68% 33.09% 56.24%
Sources: NASBO, "State Expenditure Report," Table 8: Elementary and Secondary Education Expenditures As a Percent of Total Expenditures
U.S. Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011,Governments Division Reports," issued May 2013

Revenue breakdowns

See also: Public school system revenues in the U.S.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system revenues in Utah totaled approximately $4.3 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including revenue sources, for Utah and surrounding states.[22]

Revenues by source, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)
Federal revenue State revenue Local revenue Total revenue
Utah $519,547 $2,211,870 $1,589,706 $4,321,123
Arizona $1,367,644 $3,839,130 $4,105,899 $9,312,673
Colorado $979,904 $3,543,208 $4,245,132 $8,768,244
Nevada $447,888 $1,388,154 $2,359,519 $4,195,561
U.S. total $74,943,767 $267,762,416 $264,550,594 $607,256,777
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
Public school revenues by source, FY 2011 (as percents)

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Expenditure breakdowns

See also: Public school system expenditures in the U.S.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system expenditures in Utah totaled approximately $4.5 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including expenditure types, for Utah and surrounding states.[22]

Expenditures by type, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)
Current expenditures** Capital outlay Other*** Total expenditures
Utah $3,600,074 $693,458 $234,361 $4,527,893
Arizona $8,157,006 $796,052 $634,413 $9,587,471
Colorado $7,338,499 $836,045 $521,460 $8,696,004
Nevada $3,712,313 $324,287 $270,077 $4,306,677
U.S. total $520,577,893 $52,984,139 $29,581,293 $603,143,325
**Funds spent operating local public schools and local education agencies, including such expenses as salaries for school personnel, student transportation, school books and materials, and energy costs, but excluding capital outlay, interest on school debt, payments to private schools, and payments to public charter schools.
***Includes payments to state and local governments, payments to private schools, interest on school system indebtedness, and nonelementary-secondary expenditures, such as adult education and community services expenditures.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
Public school expenditures, FY 2011 (as percents)

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Personnel salaries

See also: Public school teacher salaries in the U.S.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average national salary for classroom teachers in public elementary and secondary schools has declined by 1.3 percent from the 1999-2000 school year to the 2012-2013 school year. During the same period in Utah, the average salary increased by 3.4 percent.[23]

Estimated average salaries for teachers (in constant dollars**)
1999-2000 2009-2010 2011-2012 2012-2013 Percent difference
Utah $47,757 $48,980 $48,961 $49,393 3.4%
Arizona $50,430 $50,119 $49,501 $49,885 -1.1%
Colorado $52,153 $52,520 $49,865 $49,844 -4.4%
Nevada $53,830 $54,999 $55,467 $55,957 4%
U.S. average $57,133 $58,925 $56,340 $56,383 -1.3%
**"Constant dollars based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, adjusted to a school-year basis. The CPI does not account for differences in inflation rates from state to state."

Organizations

Unions

In 2012 the Fordham Institute and Education Reform Now assessed the power and influence of state teacher unions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Their rankings were based on 37 different variables in five broad areas, including: resources and membership, involvement in politics, scope of bargaining, state policies and perceived influence. Utah ranked 39th overall, or "weak," which was in the fourth of five tiers.[24]

In 2006, some union members decided to depart from the Utah Education Association, the state's largest teachers' union, to develop the Utah Council of Educators. The council, however, is not a union and does not participate in collective bargaining. Both organizations are in favor of reducing class sizes and raising teacher salaries. The two organizations do, however, differ in their attitudes towards school vouchers. The Utah Education Association spent more than $3 million in the fight against vouchers in 2007. The Utah Council of Educators, on the other hand, said that they would rather let the public decide.[25]

Taxpayer-funded lobbying

See also: Utah government sector lobbying

The main education government sector lobbying organization is the Utah School Boards Association.

Transparency

In 2008, the state legislature passed Senate Bill 38. The bill required state government agencies to make certain financial information available online. Utah Public Finance went live on May 15, 2009.[26]

In 2009, the legislature passed Senate Bill 18, which mandated that local government agencies (including school districts and charter schools) be held to the transparency standards established by Senate Bill 38 (2008).[27]

Both SB 38 and SB 18 were spearheaded by Sen. Wayne Niederhauser.

Education ballot measures

See also: Education on the ballot and List of Utah ballot measures

Ballotpedia has tracked 12 statewide ballot measures relating to education.

  1. Utah Abolishment of Carbon College, Referendum A (1954)
  2. Utah Definition of Public School System, Proposition 6 (1996)
  3. Utah Initiative C (1988)
  4. Utah Investing in Stocks and Bonds, Amendment E (2008)
  5. Utah Public Ownership of Stock, Amendment 2 (2004)
  6. Utah Religious and Sectarian Instruction, Proposition 3 (1994)
  7. Utah School Fund Investment, Amendment 1 (2002)
  8. Utah School Vouchers, Referendum 1 (2007)
  9. Utah State School Fund Modifications, Proposition 2 (1994)
  10. Utah State School Fund Revenues, Proposition 5 (1996)
  11. Utah State to Guarantee School District Debt, Proposition 4 (1996)
  12. Utah Trust Lands, Proposition 3 (1998)

Studies and reports

State Budget Solutions education study

See also: State spending on education v. academic performance (2012)

State Budget Solutions examined national trends in education from 2009 to 2011, including state-by-state analysis of education spending, graduation rates, and average ACT scores. The study showed that the states which spent the most did not have the highest average ACT test scores, nor did they have the highest average graduation rates. A summary of the study is available here. The full report can be accessed here.

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Utah + Education "

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Utah Education News Feed

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See also

External links

Additional reading

References

  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, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD); Table 2.—Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011-12," accessed May 12, 2014
  5. United States Department of Education, "ED Data Express," accessed May 12, 2014
  6. Utah State Office of Education, "Home page," accessed June 5, 2014
  7. Utah State Office of Education, "Utah State Board of Education Mission," accessed June 5, 2014
  8. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  9. Utah State Board of Education, "Board Members," accessed June 5, 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. 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
  13. 13.0 13.1 United States Department of Education, ED Data Express, "State Tables," accessed May 13, 2014
  14. ACT, "2012 ACT National and State Scores," accessed May 13, 2014
  15. Commonwealth Foundation, "SAT Scores by State 2013," October 10, 2013
  16. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Dropout and Graduation Rate Data File, School Year 2010-11, Provision Version 1a and School Year 2011-12, Preliminary Version 1a," accessed May 13, 2014
  17. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2011-2013," accessed February 21, 2014
  18. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009-2011," accessed February 24, 2014
  19. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditures Report, 2010-2012," accessed February 24, 2014
  20. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009," accessed February 24, 2014
  21. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2008," accessed February 24, 2014
  22. 22.0 22.1 United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts: School Year 2010–11," accessed May 13, 2014
  23. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 211.60. Estimated average annual salary of teachers in public elementary and secondary schools, by state: Selected years, 1969-70 through 2012-13," accessed May 13, 2014
  24. Thomas E Fordham Institute, " How Strong Are U.S. Teacher Unions? A State-By-State Comparison," October 29, 2012
  25. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah school workers shun teachers union, seek Legislature's ear," January 7, 2008
  26. Utah State Legislature, "SB 38," accessed July 14, 2009
  27. Utah State Legislature, "SB 18," accessed July 14, 2009