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New program may change where you decide to send your student

Young students sitting at desks and referencing books for a drawing. A young Black child is the focus of the shot.
Campanella says the funds from the Utah Fits All Scholarship can be used to pay for private schooling or to supplement a public education.

Public school, private school, magnet and charter schools, homeschooling — each of these options for education has its merits. But how can you decide which option is the right fit for you and your student?

Andrew Campanella, president of the National School Choice Awareness Foundation, said Utah has one of the most expansive school choice programs in the country both in and out of the public school system.

“If you want to make a change, and if you're looking for a new school, the wintertime is usually the best time to look,” he said.

He said Utah’s new Utah Fits All Scholarship program gives parents even more options to help their students succeed while supporting Utah’s educators.

“This is an opportunity for all education providers, whether they are in the public sector, the private sector, or the nonprofit sector to get involved in helping students learn,” Campanella said, "It's limited to 5,300 students in its first year, and every family who is accepted into the program will have $8,000 that they can spend on either private school tuition or educational tutoring or if they're homeschoolers on curriculum and materials.”

While the Utah Legislature debated the bill, it was often touted as a voucher program that would take funding away from public schools. But Campanella said the funds are more like an educational savings account that can be used to supplement any education, including one from a public school.

“You are able to mix and match learning that opens up additional opportunities for revenue or for funds for public education providers,” he said.

Campanella said, ultimately, it is up to individual families to decide what option is best for their student.

You can find more information on the Utah Fits All Scholarship here.

Anna grew up begging her mom to play music instead of public radio over the car stereo on the way to school. Now, she loves radio and the power of storytelling through sound. While she is happy to report on anything from dance concerts to laughter practice, her main focus at UPR is political reporting. She is studying Journalism and Political Science at Utah State University and wants to work in political communication after she graduates. In her free time, she spends time with her rescue dog Quigley and enjoys rock climbing.