This Is The Wealthiest School District In Utah

September 15, 2022

Disparities in school spending have been a point of contention in the American public education system for decades. Because public schools typically receive the bulk of their funding from local sources such as property taxes, wealthy districts are often better funded than poorer ones.

While studies have shown that higher per pupil spending can improve student outcomes, there are countless other factors – both inside the classroom and outside of it – that can impact a student’s likelihood of success. One of them is financial security at home.

For students from low-income families, setbacks can be more difficult to recover from due to limited supporting resources. A recent report published by the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce found that children from low-income households who receive high scores on standardized aptitude tests in kindergarten have only a 3 in 10 chance of graduating from college and landing a good entry-level job as a young adult. Meanwhile, children from well-off families who score poorly on the same tests have a 7 in 10 chance.

This study suggests that even if per-pupil spending were equal across the thousands of school districts in the United States, students in high-income areas would still have a considerable advantage.

Of active districts in Utah with at least 100 students, Canyons District – located in Salt Lake County – ranks as the wealthiest. Households in the district have an average annual income of $114,020, compared to the statewide average of $94,452, according to five-year estimates from the US Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey.

Despite the strong local tax base, education spending in the district is only slightly higher than the state average. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, per pupil spending in the district was $8,161 in the 2018-2019 school year, the most recent year of available data, compared to an average of $7,950 across all schools in Utah.

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