Utah is near the bottom of the pack on public education, according to one national publication. The state just earned an overall grade of C- from Education Week’s annual Quality Counts report. Utah Office of Education Spokesman Mark Peterson says the state ranked 42nd overall, and acknowledges there is work to be done.
“We are the lowest financed system in the United States. It has been so for years now, if not in fact decades,” says Peterson. “The reason we are so low financed has to do with our demographics. We have a lot of kids relative to the number of 18 to 65-year-olds.”
Utah earned a D+ for school financing and K-12 achievement from the report, but got its highest grade of B- in the standards, assessments and accountability category.
Although the state’s ranking has gotten worse over the past few years, Peterson notes it’s within just a few points of the rest of the country.
“Five more points puts Utah above the middle of the pack, in fact. So, the states are pretty tightly bunched; basically between C+ and C- is where almost all the states are,” say Peterson.
Maryland and Massachusetts placed the highest in the country, while South Dakota finished last.
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