Utah Public Education Funding: The Fiscal Impact of School Choice
By Susan Aud
This study examines Utah’s funding system for public education and provides an analysis of the ﬁscal impact of allowing parents to use a portion of their child’s state education funding to attend a school of their choice, public or private. Like many states, Utah is facing pressure to improve its system of public education funding. The state’s rapidly growing number of students and changing demographics have created the need for more teachers and schools. A school choice program would permit Utah to accommodate the growth of its educational needs while generating ﬁscal savings to both the state and local school districts.
The proposed voucher program analyzed here results in a ﬁscal savings to the state, because it would cost less to give students vouchers than to educate them in the public school system. A voucher program would also result in a large revenue windfall to local districts, which would retain much of the revenue associated with voucher students even though the students themselves will have left the public system.