Policy Map

Utah

School Choice Policy

Charter School Choice

Do state statutes allow for charter schools?

Are for-profit charters allowed?

Unclear:

"A charter school application shall include:...(b) except for a charter school authorized by a local school board, a statement that, after entering into a charter agreement, the charter school will be organized and managed under Title 16, Chapter 6a, Utah Revised Nonprofit Corporation Act"

53G-5-302(2)(b): Charter school application -- Applicants -- Contents.

Is there a cap on the number of charter schools?

Did not find:

We did not find information about caps on charter schools in Utah statutes. However, Education Commission of the States states that Utah does not have caps on charters.

Education Commission of the States 50 State Comparison

Are charters required to provide transportation for any students?

No:

"The state board may adopt rules under which nonresident students may be transported to their schools of attendance if: (i) the transportation of students to schools in other districts would relieve overcrowding or other serious problems in the district of residence and the costs of transportation are not excessive; or (ii) the Legislature has granted an adequate specific appropriation for that purpose"

53G-6-405(3) Funding.

Can charter schools employ uncertified teachers?

No:

To accommodate differentiated staffing and better meet student needs, a charter school, under rules adopted by the state board, shall employ teachers who are licensed.

53G-5-407(4)(a): Employees of charter schools.

Virtual School Choice

Do state statutes allow for full-time virtual schools?

Unclear:

The state allows students to complete online courses, no more than 6 credits per year, as of 2016-17. The Statewide Online Education Program does not allow for full-time virtual schooling.

Education Commission of the States states that law allows for virtual charters: "A charter school created exclusively for the purpose of serving students online may offer online courses to eligible students through the statewide online education program. Citations: Utah Code Ann. § 53A-15-1205"

However, we cannot find the cited statute on Utah's state legislature website.

53F-4-503(2): Option to enroll in online courses offered through the Statewide Online Education Program.
Education Commission of the States 50 State Comparison

Are virtual schools required to track attendance?

Did not find

Do virtual schools have to comply with state teacher certification requirements?

Did not find

Private School Choice

Do state statutes allow for voucher programs?

Yes:

Utah statutes allow for the Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship Program, through which students with special needs may receive private school vouchers.

53F-4-301 through 53F-4-307: Carson Smith Scholarship Program

Do state statutes allow for educational expense tax credits or deductions?

No:

No educational expense tax credits or deductions found.

EdChoice School Choice in America

Can students use vouchers to attend religious schools?

Unclear:

"The scholarship program authorized in this part is:
(a) enacted for the valid secular purpose of tailoring a student's education to that student's specific needs;
(b) neutral with respect to religion;
(c) provides limited assistance to citizens who are then able to direct their resources to religious and secular schools solely as a result of their genuine and independent private choices"

53F-4-301.5(7): Findings and purpose.

Is there a cap on the number of students or private schools participating in voucher programs?

Did not find
Did not find

Are voucher students in private schools required to take any standardized tests?

Did not find

Can private schools be removed from voucher programs based on performance?

Did not find

Are private schools in voucher programs required to provide transportation?

Did not find

Interdistrict School Choice

Do state statutes allow for interdistrict choice?

Yes:

"If a school's enrollment falls below the open enrollment threshold, the local school board shall allow a nonresident student to enroll in the school... A local school board may allow enrollment of nonresident students in a school that is operating above the open enrollment threshold."

53G-6-402(2)-(3) Open enrollment options -- Procedures -- Processing fee -- Continuing enrollment.

Are receiving schools or districts required to provide transportation to any students?

Unclear:

"a) Except as provided in this Subsection (3), the parent of a nonresident student shall arrange for the student's own transportation to and from school."

"c) A receiving district shall provide transportation for a nonresident student on the basis of available space on an approved route within the district to the school of attendance if district students would be eligible for transportation to the same school from that point on the bus route and the student's presence does not increase the cost of the bus route."

53G-6-405(3)(a) & (c) Funding.

Page last updated: January 2020

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Policy Map