In many families, there’s that one child that just doesn’t fit in his or her school. As a parent, you see their potential, but the school where your other children flourish just isn’t working for this one.
You see, when you’re educating a child, one-size doesn’t fit all.
But what if one-size didn’t have to fit all? What if every child could access the school, or customized education, that worked best for her? What if we sent taxpayer dollars back to tax paying families with a scholarship that travels to any education option? Enter the UT-Fits Scholarship! It’s for every child, in every zip-code, from every financial background, with every learning style.
The scholarship is designed to send tax-dollars allocated for education back to you so you can give your child an education that fits their unique needs.
2. The Bill is drafted. This is when a staff attorney actually writes the bill. This is also when the bill gets its official number!
3. The Bill is introduced.The bill is introduced into the Utah Legislature (it can start in either the House or Senate).
4. The Bill is heard by a committee – and the public gets to chime in! The Rules Committee refers the bill to a committee. That committee holds an open meeting to review the bill and get public feedback in the form of testimony. After that, the committee will amend the bill, hold or table it, or make a favorable recommendation.
5. The Bill heads to the full body. Next, the full House or Senate gets the bills and the committee’s recommendation.
6. The Bill is debated.During this time, it can be amended, held, or substituted. To pass the House, it must receive at least 38 votes and at least 15 votes in the Senate.
7. The Bill passes both Houses and Senate.
8. The bill must go through this full process in both House and Senate and must pass both.
9. The Bill is signed or vetoed by the Governor or it becomes law without his signature.
10. The Bill becomes law. It becomes effective 60 days after the legislature adjourns.
Every K-12 student in Utah.
The scholarship will be $8,000 for every student!
It’s your tax-dollars coming back to you! There will be no tax increase. The scholarship is designed to send tax-dollars already allocated for education back to you so you can give your child an education that fits their unique needs. The scholarship represents a portion of per-pupil funding in Utah.
There are so many ways! A parent could use the scholarship to purchase educational tools like tutors, learning therapies, curriculum, online classes, books, software, field trips, extracurricular activities, or pay for tuition at a private school, or any combination of these. The scholarship will include accountability tools to protect taxpayers and ensure the scholarship is used for the intended purpose: to educate Utah students!
Through an online portal! After you apply and receive confirmation of your child’s eligibility, the scholarship will be deposited in your portal for that school year. The money can be withdrawn for eligible purchases. Schools and approved vendors can also access your account with your permission to withdraw tuition or payment for the education tools and services you have selected.
Yes! After you are admitted to the program, you will need to submit an intent to return if you want to continue in the program the following year.
If you’re already homeschooling, this doesn’t have to affect you at all! You can continue as you are, no change. But, if you want to access the scholarship for your child(ren), you are eligible! Your use of the funds will fall under the same requirements as other recipients of the scholarship to ensure the funds are used for educating!
A program manager. This program manager will selected through a standard business practice called an RFP (Request for Proposal) process through the State Board of Education. It will be an open application process. The program manager will be required to comply with all regulations in the bill language, including but not limited to, not being permitted to data mine, forbidden from receiving donations from outside sources, and required to provide the most flexibility to both providers and students to accommodate their unique learning needs. The program manager must implement the program as the bill requires regardless of their personal preferences.
The purpose of Utah’s education dollars is to educate students. The UT-Fits Scholarship is a way to ensure those dollars provide every child with the education that fits them best. Many Utah families love their public school and they (and their child’s dollars) won’t be going anywhere! When a student chooses to take the scholarship and leave their public school, there will be no change to their school’s funding for the first year. Every year after that, public schools get to keep some funding while relieving class overcrowding. Bottom line, everyone wins with the UT-Fits Scholarship! Every school has a place and every student gets access to more education tools and resources. It’s the Utah way!
Initially, yes. HB215 as currently written will fund up to 5,000 applicants during the first year. Priority will be given to low-income applicants (defined as 200% of the federal poverty level, or less than 52,000/year for a family of four), and siblings of approved applicants. This is to ensure the funds get where they are most needed, first. All remaining applicants will be chosen via a lottery, with every K-12 student being equally eligible. While 5,000 may sound small, other states that enacted similar scholarship programs had smaller numbers of applicants in the first years of the program. Awareness takes time to build. The best way to increase funding? Demand! Once passed, we encourage every interested Utah family to apply for the UT-Fits Scholarship! When the Utah legislature sees the program is in high demand, they will be much more likely to increase the funding for future years to meet the needs of all the interested families.
Every K-12 student is eligible. However, applicants who are low-income (defined as 200% of the federal poverty level, less than $52,000/year for a family of four) or siblings of approved applicants will be given priority to ensure the funds go where most-needed first. All remaining applicants will be chosen via a lottery, with every K-12 student being equally eligible.
Keep applying! While you won’t get the scholarship for your child this year, don’t lose hope. A long waiting list of Utah families will be our best motivation to encourage the Utah legislature to increase the funding next year! Our ultimate goal is still to ensure every single Utah student has access to options. As states across the country (like Arizona and Florida) have shown, growth takes time, but we’ll get there!