Governor's Position on Education

"Education is my number one budget priority, with nearly two-thirds of the state budget going toward education. Utah's continued economic prosperity is dependent upon our education system. We must invest in our most precious resource, our children, and support Utah teachers."

– Gov. Herbert



STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES

  1. Adequate Funding - Our schools and teachers must have the funding and other resources they need to provide students with a first-rate education, which is why education will continue to be my number one budget priority.
  2. Local Control of Curriculum - Utah, not the federal government, must be in control of what we teach and how we teach it.
  3. Local Control of Resources - As champions for local control, we should not only ensure that school administrators and boards have the resources they need, but we should empower them to apply the dollars they receive where they are needed the most.
  4. Accountability - Benchmarks and other appropriate accountability measures are necessary to evaluate the quality of our education system and ensure that students are mastering key academic concepts.
  5. Workforce Alignment - Students must be prepared to be civically engaged citizens with the knowledge, creativity and technical skills necessary to succeed in an ever-changing marketplace.
  6. Innovation - Innovative approaches and partnerships between education, industry and other community partners are key to bettering our education system and will improve outcomes for all.

2016 PUBLIC POLICY PRIORITIES

  • Work with the Legislature to invest $422 million in new money for public and higher education this fiscal year and increase WPU spending by 4.75 percent to keep pace with the growing student population in our schools and universities.
  • Finalize the 10-year strategic education plan in order to make Utah a Top 10 state in educational outcomes.
  • Replicate our successful aerospace pathways program in other industries such as technology, diesel mechanics and health sciences.
  • Work with industry partners to expand career exploration and work-based learning opportunities in secondary education across the state.
  • Continue to work with education stakeholders to achieve our statewide "66% by 2020" goal by improving high school graduation rates and participation in post-secondary education.
  • Promote early learning experiences between parents and their children to prepare Utah students for academic success.

RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • Utah's graduation rate has increased by nine percent in the past five years.
  • Partnering with industry and education leaders, Utah created two work-based learning programs, which provide high school students with early training and a head start in entering the aerospace and diesel technology industries.
  • Utah ranks Top 5 in ACT scores among states where all students take the exam.
  • Utah 8th graders rank in the Top 10 in reading and science.
  • Together with the Legislature, we increased our investment in education for the 2016 fiscal year, adding $512 million of new money to education and raising the total new money to more than $1.3 billion over the last four years.
  • We enlisted community stakeholders to develop a 10-year strategic education plan to ensure we get the best possible results for the dollars we invest.
  • We tasked the Utah Attorney General to conduct a study for the State School Board, which reaffirmed that Utah is in control over every aspect of our education system, including what we teach and how we teach it.
  • Put local school administrators and boards in the driver's seat to increase academic excellence in their districts by applying tax dollars where they will yield the best results.
  • Invested $38 million to operate the STEM Action Center between FY 2014 and FY 2016.