Funding for education is a priority of the business community and will be the focus of a multiyear effort. This legislative session our efforts have been focused primarily on maintaining funding levels. We continue to call on legislators to hold education harmless as they make necessary cuts to make the budget balance.
Utah’s public school and higher education enrollment growth should be funded if updated state revenue projections next week yield any good news about economic improvements. The state’s rainy day fund and other tools for funding enrollment growth should also be considered.
There are some numbers we know already. Utah public schools will see an increase of 11,000 students and higher education will see an increase of approximately 12,000 students. Taking the same amount of money that was appropriated for public and higher education last year and rolling it over to this year is a good start, but it is essentially a cut.
Education is the key to a first-class workforce that will attract business to Utah and strengthen out state economy long-term. If we can find the money, funding for enrollment growth should be a top priority.