The Voices for Utah Children released the latest “Children’s Budget Report” on Tuesday at the State Capitol.
The report, published every other year, measures how much the state invests every year in Utah’s children by dividing all state programs concerning children into seven categories, without regard to their location within the structure of state government.
Education, which makes up 90.8 percent of the state-funded portion of the Children’s Budget and 77.3 percent overall counting both state and federal funds
Health – 3.5 percent of the state-funded portion and 11.5 percent overall
Food and Nutrition – 0.7 percent of state-funded portion and 4.3 percent overall
Early Childhood Education – 1.1 percent of state-funded portion and 2.9 percent overall
Child Welfare — 1.8 percent of state-funded portion and 2.2 percent of overall
Juvenile Justice – 2.0 percent of state-funded portion and 1.6 percent overall
Income Support – 0.1 percent of state-funded portion and 0.2 percent overall
Good news in the report: Utah is investing more in the next generation now than we were before the Great Recession of 2008-2009.
Not so good news: The Children’s Budget peaked in 2017 and fell last year by 0.5 percent overall.
Bad news: In spite of the state’s putting 91 percent of all new Children’s Budget dollars into K-12 education over the last decade, the education budget fell last year in real terms both overall for the first time in seven years (by $41 million) and on a per-student basis by 1.9 percent.