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How Much Does Utah Spend on Education?

I learned about this video from Representative John Dougall‘s Facebook post.  I enjoyed it very much and asked my wife if she had seen it.  She tells me it’s old, but it’s new to me, so I am sharing it with you today.  So, first take a minute and watch this 5 minute video.

Utah Education Facts – How much do you know about K-12 education in Utah?

Okay, I first have to admit that I only got two of the questions right.  The question about how much charter schools cost, and the question about how much of our state income taxes go towards public education.  I might have gotten a couple more if I had taken some more time to think about them, but basically, I failed the quiz.

Before I start on my great exhortation regarding this video, I wish to acknowledge that this isn’t a scientific study on what people know about education in Utah.  I could conduct a similar video about what do Utahns know about Mormonism, and get equally poor answers.  All I need to do is pick the answers that make my point and only show those, not the one’s that prove something else.

But that isn’t the point.  The point is the expression on the people’s faces.  I think that they truly reflect the thoughts of most Utahns regarding education.  They have been listening to the cries of the UEA that they need more money for education. And they believed that these cries were true.

Utah spends a lot on education.  Sure, we pay less per student than other  states (the data in the link is from 2005).  Sure, we have one of the largest student bodies per capita when compared to other states.  But we also have some of the best academic achievement scores when looking at other states.

We need more organizations publishing information like this, which was published by Parents for Choice in Education.  Real information about what great things Utah is doing for it’s students, and about how much of a great deal we are getting for our educational dollar.  That’s probably one thing that this video doesn’t do a very good job at, not to criticize the producers of the video so much as to call for another similar video.

I appreciate public education.  I applaud all of the teachers who put in long hours and lovingly work with students to help them learn.  I want the best for my students, but I don’t think the UEA grasps how good things are here in Utah.  And if they do grasp it, then they don’t what us to know, because then their cries of “woe is the teacher” would fall on deaf ears.

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