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Utah's K-12 Schools Are 'Doing Pretty Well' Considering The Lack Of Funds, According To A New Report


Utah spends less money per pupil than any other state in the country. “And we’re always last, so what’s the point of talking about that all the time?”


This is Shawn Tiegen. He works with the Utah Foundation, a non-profit organization that does research on government organizations. They recently released a report on how Utah schools compare to other schools across the country.


“What we found is that when you compare Utah to the nation, we look pretty great," he said. "When you compare Utah to the other Mountain states, we’re also doing pretty well.”

The report dug a little deeper still. It identified 10-peer states that have similar socio-economic demographics to Utah.

“When we compare ourselves to these peers, Utah is still good. We’re still doing pretty well, but we’re actually average compared to those peers.”

However, Tiegen acknowledges that higher spending would help some students.

“Maybe typically lower-income groups and other groups that are at risk of poor academic outcomes.”

Tiegen says the results raise an important question.

“Where do we want to be? That’s kind of what we need to determine. We are doing pretty well, do we want to be where we are now or do we want to be better? And one of the ways really to be better is to spend more money in targeted areas.”