The Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee provides oversight and makes recommendations on budget matters concerning Utah's public schools, including pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, general education, special education, career and technical education, charter schools, and statewide administration. The subcommittee also reviews budget matters of local education agencies, namely school districts and charter schools. This review includes student population and demographics, local property tax revenues, use of state appropriated funding, and the general performance of education programs in Utah.
The public education budget is divided into three principal areas: the Minimum School Program which provides general operating revenues to all school districts and charter schools in the state; a School Building Program that supports school districts in school building construction and renovation; and Education Agencies that provide statewide administration and support of the public schools. Education Agencies includes the budgets of the Utah State Office of Education (USOE) and the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind. The USOE budget contains nine line items, USOE, USOE Initiative Programs, State Charter School Board, Educator Licensing, Child Nutrition Programs, Fine Arts Outreach, Science Outreach, and Education Contracts.
Budget-related issues addressed by the subcommittee include student enrollment growth costs, property tax rates and revenues, Weighted Pupil Unit value, equity in funding, charter school financing, educator compensation, allocation of funding to school districts and charter schools, and reviewing new education initiative programs.