Alan Hall, Chairman of Prosperity 2020, in partnership with Education, First issues the following statement regarding Gov. Herbert’s fiscal year 2017 budget proposal:
Now, more than ever, education is the surest path to economic success. We must move Utah’s education rankings back to the top-ten in the nation, and the Governor’s budget recommendations will support achieving this goal. Prosperity 2020 lauds Governor Herbert’s request for $10 million for early childhood education for at-risk kids, which supports Prosperity through Education’s 2016-2017 legislative objectives to support school readiness and success for at-risk students.
Funding adopted by the legislature during its 2015 general session marked the largest investment in education seen in decades and we applaud their leadership and foresight, but our education-funding deficit is not over. We must continue to take the proceeds of Utah’s thriving economy and invest in our state’s future workforce. Our current education performance in many key areas is average among states. With the recommendation of $422 million in new state funds, Utah will continue make progress to returning to the top ten.
Though we have seen improvements in graduation and reading performance, Utah must continue to invest in education if we are to maintain and grow our state’s favorable economic conditions. If we continue to postpone education investments, we will find Utah’s greatest asset, our future workforce, will not be work-ready when our businesses need them, compromising our future economic success.
Utah is at a remarkable point of consensus regarding the need to investment in education.We are confident that Governor Herbert and the Legislature will work together to fund Utah’s continued economic prosperity.