State Policy Network
Utah Adopts School Choice Program to Increase Education Options for Students

On January 28, 2023, the Utah Governor signed the Utah Fits All Scholarship, a multi-use scholarship program for K-12 students. Starting next year, participants of the program can receive an education spending account of up to $8,000 to pay for education-related items, including textbooks, tutors, and private school tuition.

Utah now joins Arizona, West Virginia, and Iowa as states with similar scholarship programs that all students in the state can access.

Utah’s new scholarship program will help thousands of Utah students access a better education

Multi-use scholarship programs empower parents to make the best educational choices for their children. Unless a family has the resources to pay for alternative education options—such as private school—many children only have one option when it comes to their education: their zoned public school. And while most public schools do an outstanding job of educating their students, some fail to give children the tools they need to succeed. What’s more, schools that fail academically are usually in low-income neighborhoods, which means poor students are most likely to have limited education choice.

The Utah Fits All Scholarship gives these students hope. With this scholarship, parents can send their child to a school that fits their unique learning needs. While many families will continue to attend their local public school, this scholarship gives Utah families who normally don’t have education choices the freedom to peruse other options.

Jon England, the Education Policy Analyst at Libertas Institute, a policy organization that helped advance the legislation, added:

“Parents, students, and teachers are clamoring for more options in education. Yes, most parents will continue to choose their public school, but when public education isn’t a good fit for a student, parents will be able to find an education that does.”

Several groups work to give families in Utah education opportunity

This win in Utah is the result of a group of organizations working together to ensure all children, regardless of their economic status, can access a quality education that puts them on the path to success.

State Policy Network and Libertas have been working for years to ensure every parent, child, and teacher can innovate and individualized education. The bill passed the Utah Legislature on January 26, and the Utah Governor signed the legislation on January 28.

Thanks to the efforts of Libertas and many more, thousands of children in Utah can soon access a quality education they need and deserve.

2023: Another significant year for school choice?  

In 2021 and 2022, several states adopted school choice policies, including multi-use scholarships, tax credit scholarships, and Education Savings Accounts (ESAs). That momentum is continuing in 2023, with Iowa and Utah adopting significant school choice policies just weeks into their state’s legislative sessions.

State Policy Network helps ensure these education reforms do not stay isolated—but spread across the country so even more students can benefit. SPN is working with partners in several other states that are considering polices that put parents and students first.

Additional Reading:

The School Choice Drive Accelerates
The Wall Street Journal

School Choice In 2023: 10 States To Watch
State Policy Network

Everything You Need to Know About Education Savings Accounts (ESAs)
State Policy Network

AFC Celebrates New Utah ESA Program
American Federation for Children

Categories: News
Policy Issues: K-12 Education
States: Utah
Organization: State Policy Network