UEA Budget Priorities for the 2023 Utah Legislative Session
After fulfilling statutory education funding requirements (fully fund student enrollment growth and the WPU inflation adjustment in the base budget; and fully fund the education working rainy day fund to support long-term education economic stabilization), address the following funding priorities:
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- Provide at least a 6.5% increase on the WPU above the inflation adjustment and enrollment growth (est. $292 million) for a minimum total WPU increase of 10%. Prioritizing the WPU allows maximum local flexibility to address ever-increasing demands, such as attracting and retaining quality educators and support staff.
- Fund and increase Paid Professional Hours (2022 HB396) for all licensed educators to enhance collaboration and preparation time ($80 million one-time).
- Create a grant program for education preparation program students to provide financial support during their student teaching experience ($10 million one-time, non-lapsing).
- Enhance funding for students at-risk of academic failure by increasing weights on the At-Risk Student line item from .075 to .10 for students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds and from .0375 to .40 for students learning English (est. $25 million).
- Expand optional full-day kindergarten making it available to every family in the state who wants it.
- Oppose schemes such as school vouchers, tax credits, “backpack” funding or education savings accounts that funnel funds intended for public education to personal student accounts or privately-run entities where taxpayer accountability is lost.
- Establish a tax system that delivers sustainable and growing long-term revenue and continues the momentum in K-12 public education funding progress.
Ensure sufficient future state funding to continue successful programs started with federal funding.