Utah Lawmakers Will Refine Bill Giving School Funding to Students

Judy Hartnett's picture
Thursday, February 16, 2012

A bill to give education funding to students — instead of schools — was kept in committee Wednesday morning to give lawmakers more time to work on it, possibly turning it into a smaller, test program rather than making a statewide change.

HB123, in its current form, would require the state to put most of the money it now sends to high schools into education savings accounts for students in grades 9-12. Bill sponsor Rep. John Dougall, R-American Fork, said that could equal about $6,400 per student per year.

Students could then choose to spend that money to attend public schools, including charter schools; attend public school online classes; and/or pay for courses offered by public and certain private, nonprofit Utah colleges. Students could use any money left in their accounts after high school to continue their educations.

"Today, what we have is top down funding and we know many of the challenges that come with top down funding," Dougall said. "HB123 is what I call grassroots funding where we fund the student rather than institutions."

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