Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, R., on Saturday signed a major school choice bill on Sunday, giving parents more options for their child’s education.
H.B. 215 provides established the “Utah Fits All Scholarship Program” and provided funding for the program as well as boosted teacher pay.
Scholarship accounts were established on behalf of all Utah K-12 students to pay for “approved education goods and services” starting in the 2024-2025 school year.
“School choice works best when we adequately fund public education, and we remove unnecessary regulations that burden our public schools and make it difficult for them to succeed. We are especially appreciative of our teachers and education leaders who helped push for more accountability measures which were not included in the original bill,” Cox said in a press release.
Utah became the second state to sign a major school choice bill this year, trailing shortly behind Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds who signed a similar bill last week.
As Utah is keeping up with the major school choice legislation being pushed in red states, American Federation For Children Corey DeAngelis said to look out for “Arkansas, Florida, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas.”
“A universal school choice revolution has ignited. Utah is the second state this year to go all-in on empowering families with education freedom, and it’s only January. Red states are now engaging in friendly competition to fund students, not systems. Iowa already passed universal school choice this year,” DeAngelis said.
Reynolds signed an unprecedented school choice bill called the Students First Act on Tuesday, allowing any Iowa student to use public money to pay for private school tuition or other expenses.
After the Students First Act was passed, Iowa became the second state to pass a school choice measure that expands to every student in the state.
The first example of a significant passing of school choice legislation happened in Arizona under former Gov. Doug Ducey, who signed the most “monumental” education savings account program in the United States last year.
Arizona became the first state in the nation to pass education scholarship accounts, expanding the program to all 1.1 million K-12 students in the state. Other red states have now followed suit in pushing school choice legislation.