Blog Post

Insight: Priorities for Investing COVID-19 Resources and Future Funding in K–12 Education in Utah

By: Edward B. Clark and Andrea Thomas Brandley

Note: The opinions expressed are those of the authors alone and do not reflect an institutional position of the Gardner Institute. We hope the opinions shared contribute to the marketplace of ideas and help people as they formulate their own INFORMED DECISIONS™.

K–12 education in Utah has or will receive over $1.1 billion in COVID-19–related federal funding.[i] Many in the community are speaking up about where and how this money should be spent. Some encourage investment in K–12 special education and mental health.[ii] Utah already focused some CARES Act funding on students of color or those who are economically disadvantaged who saw large dips in grades and attendance during the pandemic.[iii]

A survey of school districts and charter schools revealed what some local education agencies are doing to try to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19. When asked what intervention strategies they were using to address unfinished learning for elementary students:

  • 95% said they were focusing on “supporting social, emotional, and behavioral needs”