Utah lawmakers advance most funding cuts to public education

Education

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News)– Public school education in Utah is expecting major cuts to funding. This amid the COVID 19 pandemic as the state prepares for a $3.8 billion overall cut. 
The state ordered the Utah State Board of Education to prepare for cuts between $600 million and $1.3 billion for the fiscal year 2021.

The exact amount has yet to be determined so the board ran 2%, 5%, and 10% base budget cut scenarios Wednesday.

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 The Public Education Appropriations Sub Committee approved nearly all of the Boards recommendations but could not get through all of the line items.

 On the list of recommendations are cuts to fine arts, and special education. 

Also, 24 different programs could be eliminated which is a concern for lawmakers. 

“We just don’t have enough time to put a rubric together or to study as to why we cut something totally. The right thing to do would be ‘We are going to take a haircut immediately– equal across the board for everything,’ then we will come back say ‘I think we’ve given more time in the direction we are going in our economy’,” Utah House Republican Representative Francis Gibson said.  

The Subcommittee couldn’t get through all the lines items and plans to reconvene next week. 

Next, these recommendations will go to the Executive Appropriations Committee with a final decision expected mid-June. 

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