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Is Utah still last in per-pupil spending?

First Published Aug 03 2014 01:01AM      Last Updated Aug 03 2014 09:19 am

(Keith Johnson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Students in Rob Lake's introduction to statics class use their Texas Instruments wireless calculators at Kearns High School, February 5, 2014 in Kearns, Utah. Each student has a calculator that transmits its data onto a screen for all to see. The Utah Legislature is looking into infusing millions of dollars for technology in Utah classrooms. Kearns High received a one million dollar grant 3 years ago, allowing every student to get an iPod touch to help in the classroom. The results were mixed.
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He also said, however, that Utah has doubled that per-pupil spending, when dollars are adjusted for inflation, since 1976.

Plus, he said Utah is efficient with its education dollars, with lower administrative costs than most other states.

"Money or spending is not a direct reflection of the quality of education," Stephenson said.

Dougall also said the rankings ultimately only mean so much.

"At the end of the day it’s not really how many dollars you spend," Dougall said. "It’s how well you spend the money, that’s what really matters anyway."

Nationally, the average amount spent per student in 2012 was $10,608, according to that census report, with New York spending the most, at $19,552 per pupil.

Utah students score at about the national average on National Assessment of Educational Progress exams in fourth-grade math and reading and eighth-grade math.

Utah students score above the national average in eighth-grade reading and fourth- and eighth-grade science.

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) also tracks per pupil spending per state, and according to NCES, Utah ranked last in the nation for per pupil spending in fiscal year 2011 at $6,326 per pupil.

NCES’ report for fiscal year 2012 is expected at the end of August.






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