As a point of interest, Utah Education Association’s legislative team is paying close attention to House Bill 215. It is a voucher bill sponsored by Rep. Candice B. Pierucci (R-Herriman) and Sen. Kirk A. Cullimore (R-Sandy). It links a teacher salary increase to private school education vouchers.
“It is disheartening to see teacher salary increases come with strings attached, rather than be based on the work educators do every day,” Government Relations and Professional Programs Director Sara Jones said.
UEA opposes HB215 and any other voucher bill because it will funnel money intended for public education to personal student accounts or privately-run entities.
UEA believes Utah must equip every school with the resources to deliver quality education that prepares each child for a successful future. UEA opposes school vouchers, tax credits, “backpack” funding, education savings accounts, and “scholarship” programs.
- A well-resourced public education system should benefit all students, no matter their background or zip code. Utah struggles to fund the
- education options we already have and must not shift more funds to private providers.
- Utahns value taxpayer accountability. Vouchers divert funds away from public schools to private providers with little or no taxpayer accountability. Additional voucher-like schemes will require increased government bureaucracy and administrative oversight when auditing, tracking, and accounting for existing taxpayer-funded options is already fraught with difficulty.
- Vouchers subsidize private schools for affluent families along the Wasatch Front, at the expense of rural students and families unable to cover the difference in private school tuition.
- We value options that are open to all students. Private schools can deny a student admission for any reason and require parents to waive their federal IDEA (special education law) rights.
- Utah currently provides a robust range of taxpayer-funded K-12 education alternatives, including:
- Traditional neighborhood public schools with generous open enrollment policies;
- Public charter schools;
- Public online schools;
- Dual enrollment (Public and private/home school); and
- Special needs private school scholarships and 529 plan tax credits.
- Studies show providing parents with additional school options does not increase student achievement.,,
- Data show parents are overwhelmingly satisfied with their neighborhood school.,
A full list of bills tracked by UEA can be found here.
 “A summary of Utah’s education choice options”, Sutherland Institute (Sept. 16, 2021)
 Jeffery R. Dean and Patrick J. Wolf, “Milwaukee Longitudinal School Choice Evaluation: Annual School Testing Summary Report 2008-2009”, (Fayetteville, AR: April 2010), p. 14.
 “Evaluation of the Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program”, Center for Evaluation & Education Policy, p. 19 (Feb. 9, 2006)
 “Evaluation of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program, Final Report” U.S. Department of Education (June 2010).
 2020 PDK Poll, Langer Research Associates (2020)
 “Civics Education in Utah”, Quantitative Data, Sutherland Institute (2021)