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Current K-12 School Choice Programs in Utah

 

Utah's New Voucher Program

Signed into law in February, the Parent Choice in Education Program provides state-funded vouchers that parents can use to help pay for tuition at the participating private school of their choice.

Not only does the new voucher program provide parents with more options to find the school that's best for their family, it will also help reduce class sizes in the public school system and increase per student spending without raising taxes.

CLICK HERE to learn more about this innovative new program.

 

Carson Smith Scholarship Program

The Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship Program was passed in the legislature and signed into law in the Sprig of 2005.  It provides a state-funded scholarship of up to $6,042.50 for children with disabilities.  Parents may use the scholarship to pay for tuition at any eligible private school.

The basic requirements for student eligibility are:
       1) that he or she live in Utah,
       2) is of student age, and
       3) has one or more of several disabilities that would

           qualify them to have an IEP (Individual Education

           Plan).

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Carson Smith Scholarship or to apply for a scholarship/elgibility.

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Charter Schools

The goal of charter schools is to provide additional educational options with quality outcomes for students and parents.

Charter schools are semi-autonomous public schools, founded by educators, parents, community groups or private organizations that operate under a written contract with the Utah State Charter School Board. This contract, or charter, details how the school will be organized and managed, what students will be taught and expected to achieve, and how success will be measured.

Many charter schools enjoy freedom from rules and regulations affecting other public schools, as long as they continue to meet the terms of their charters. Charter schools can be closed for failing to satisfy these terms. (ecs)

Charter schools are open to all students and operate on public funds without tuition. Currently there are more than 18,500 students attending the 53 charter schools in Utah.  Initial enrollment is typically done through a lottery system, but charter schools fill up fast and most have long waiting lists. 

To learn more about Charter Schools or to find the one closest to your home, please visit the Utah Charter Schools website.

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Open Enrollment

Utah state law has an intradistrict/ interdistrict open enrollment law.  The law allows students to apply to go to a school outside their resident school district boundaries. 

Unfortunately, not all schools are eligible and those that are, change from year to year depending on projected estimates of student enrollment. 

Intradistrict: open enrollment laws that allow choice of public schools within district boundaries.

Interdistrict: open enrollment laws that allow choice of public schools across district boundaries. (ecs)

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Private Schools

Utah currently has over 140 private schools in operation.  The median K-8 private school tuition in Utah is around $3,800 a year.  While we hope to get a broad school voucher program passed soon, there are privately funded scholarships available through Children First Utah to low income families, in order to give them the opportunity to attend a private school.

 

The websites below provide extensive lists of Utah private schools:

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