“It was the largest group in twenty years.” That is what one capitol worker told me about the education choice rally that took place on Tuesday, January 24, 2023.
With over 1,500 parents, students, teachers, and other concerned citizens filling the capitol building, it is no wonder why legislators voted to support House Bill 215 from Representative Candice Pierucci.
This bill creates the Utah Fits All Scholarship, a universal education spending account that gives parents control of their education tax dollars in the state. The scholarship will be able to provide a perfectly fit education for about 5,000 students in its first year. Scholarships will be awarded at $8,000 per student in a digital wallet, kind of like PayPal but for educational purchases. This program allows for dual enrollment in public schools too. Students can participate half-time in their local public school and receive half of the scholarship to individualize the rest of their education.
Education spending accounts are not limited to private school tuition, like a voucher, but allow for a whole host of options like online learning programs, tutoring, microschools, early higher education expenses, and other approved customizable learning services and materials. Parents can mix and match curricula and tutors, experts and experiences, to create a unique education program that is as unique as the student.
Utah led the way. The massive support from legislators was a signal that they support a parent’s right to choose the best education for their child.
The Utah State Board of Education has until September 1, 2023 to find a program manager. This program manager will use the 2023-24 school year to create the application process for both parents and providers. You can stay up to date on this process by joining the Utah Fits All email list.
The Utah Fits All scholarship will begin distributing funds for the 2024-25 school year. We want everyone who is interested to sign up and encourage your neighbors to sign up.