Education Empowerment

Over 27,000 Students Applied for Utah Fits All Scholarship

27,270 students. That is how many students applied for the Utah Fits All Scholarship by the April 22nd deadline. Excitement for the program was evident as 10,617 students applied within the first twenty-four hours. 

This is evidence of the growing demand for options from parents across Utah and across the country. 

The Utah Fits All Scholarship goes into effect beginning with the 2024-25 school year. The legislature doubled the funding for the scholarship during this legislative session, but there is still only enough funding for about 10,000 students. That means that roughly  two thirds of the students who applied will be left without a scholarship.

Low income families (200% of the federal poverty guideline or below) will be given priority when it comes to the disbursement of scholarships. For a family of four that is $62,400 or less. 

The Growing Movement

So far, there have been 114 school choice bills filed in over 34 states across the country. 

In my role as a school principal I often met with parents who needed something different than what we could offer in the elementary school I worked in. Some families wanted specific kinds of academic support, some wanted smaller class sizes, some wanted the ability to be outside more often, and some wanted a specific kind of curriculum.

Some parents were able to work with the school to create hybrid models where the parents homeschooled their child part of the time while then attending our public school for the remainder of their education. Others would withdraw their children every spring to take a prolonged experiential trip for the final few weeks of the school year. 

But the point was clear: parents want options. Most will continue to send their children to a conventional public school, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t want additional options to be available if they need them. School choice programs provide them those options.

There are many parents whose ideological differences with what schools are trying to teach has led to many school board meeting confrontations. 

School choice creates a kind of pressure release valve on the political battles that are happening increasingly in school board meetings across the country. These parents will have options too.

For those parents who are choosing something other than the public school, more options means a more suitable education for them and their families. 

And the evidence is clear that the students who remain in public schools will have a better education too.

This is all great news all around for the students in Utah. Education is improving across the board.