The Utah State Office of Education published a blog lamenting Utah’s low per pupil expenditures. It’s probably worth reading. We added a little perspective we felt was sobering but helpful. Days later, we’re still “awaiting moderation.” Go figure.
It’s true that Utah spends roughly $6,062 per student, about 51 percent of our total budget – which is up from 46 percent in 2008. It’s a struggle. We have more students per taxpayer than other states.
Reaching the U.S. Average of $10,441 would cost Utah nearly $2.4 billion. Income Tax rates would have to increase from the current 5% to 9.4%. That’s almost double.
To reach New Jersey’s per pupil expenditure of $17,029 would cost Utah nearly $5.9 billion. To pay for it, we’d have to more than triple our Personal and Corporate Income Taxes (5% to 16%).
And doing that, of course, would have it’s own impact on Utah’s business climate, economy, and future income tax revenues. Utah’s education challenges are not simple ones. We’d love your ideas and thoughtful feedback as we go.