SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah)- Governor Gary Herbert is applauding the legislature for its work on education funding.
The governor says it is his number one budget priority, and Tuesday the House passed a budget that includes more new money than the governor asked for.
As it stands now the higher and public education budget will gain $440,000,000 in new money.
That’s $18,000,000 more than the governor’s original recommendation.
That includes $94,000,000 million to public education to manage growth, $20,400,000 for equalization, $15,000,000 to improve technology and a 3% or $74,000,000 increase to the WPU.
WPU is the measurement of per pupil spending.
Even with recent increases Utah is still at the bottom of the nation for per pupil funding.
Speaker of the House, Greg Hughes says that’s in part due to a larger student population than other states.
“We don’t accept that as an excuse or a reason not to prioritize public schools and our kids. So, we look all the time not only just for the increased funding, but how do you move the needle,“ said Hughes, (R) Draper.
Democratic Representative, Joel Briscoe introduced an amendment to increase the WPU by 4% instead of 3%.
It would raise an additional $28,000,000, but it failed.