The Utah Legislature controls public education funding and our elected legislators must pass a balanced budget each year during the General Legislative Session. Until the passage of Constitutional Amendment G by voters in November 2020, a public education “Base Budget,” set early in the legislative session, essentially funded public education at the same level as the previous year. After passage of the constitutional amendment, the Base Budget must now by law include student enrollment growth, a cost factor for inflation and investment in a stabilization fund to ensure future funding.
After passing a Base Budget, legislators then meet in appropriations committee meetings where they consider appropriations requests received from various entities. There are eight appropriation subcommittees, including the Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee. Each subcommittee considers appropriation requests relevant to that area, then prioritize requests and submit a budget proposal to the Executive Appropriations Committee for final approval. The Executive Appropriations Committee is mostly made up of Senate and House leadership and is responsible for setting the final budget for the upcoming year. This final budget is then voted upon by the full House and Senate, usually during the session’s closing days.