State Policy

In the work that we do, it is imperative that we use data to inform our decisions and help children and their families access the resources they need. But with so many different tools and resources, it can be hard to find trusted information. That’s where the Data Center comes in. The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT Data Center contains thousands of child well-being indicators related to education, poverty, health and youth risk factors. By being able to filter by state, city, county and congressional district, users are able to access data that is relevant in their communities. Visit the Data Center today to enact change.

Here are some examples of the data tools you can find at the Kids Count Data Center.

 

 

 Visit the Kids Count Data Center to find data you can share and embed on your own website!


For 30 years now, Voices for Utah Children has called on our state, federal and local leaders to put children’s needs first. But the work is not done. The children of 30 years ago now have children of their own. Too many of these children are growing up in poverty, without access to healthcare or quality educational opportunities.

How can you be involved?

Make a tax-deductible donation to Voices for Utah Children—or join our Network with a monthly donation of $20 or more.  Network membership includes complimentary admission to Network events with food, socializing, and opportunity to meet child advocacy experts. And don't forget to join our listserv to stay informed!

We look forward to the future of Voices for Utah Children and we hope you will be a part of our next 30 years.

Special thanks to American Express, our "Making a Difference All Year Long" sponsor. Amex

 

Published in News & Blog

state general funding per student lower than 2008 in 25 statesMost states, including Utah, provide less per-pupil funding for K-12 education now than they did before the 2008-2009 recession, according to a report titled, “Most States Have Cut School Funding, and Some Continue Cutting” by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Their findings echo those reported by Voices for Utah Children in the Utah Children’s Budget Report.

After the recession, property values dropped, making it hard for local school districts to raise significant revenue through local property taxes, but there was an “even steeper fall in state funding.” Meanwhile, the child population continued to grow.

The most recent data, for the 2016 school year, show that 25 states are offering less per-pupil general formula funding that in 2008. (General formula funding is the primary state funding source for schools.) In Utah, general formula funding per student has dropped by 9% since 2008. Only seven other states had a bigger drop in general formula funding than Utah.

But can’t we just do more with less? The authors point out that the data suggest otherwise:

“As common sense would suggest, money matters for educational outcomes. For instance, poor children who attend better-funded schools are more likely to complete high school and have higher earnings and lower poverty rates in adulthood.”


For 30 years now, Voices for Utah Children has called on our state, federal and local leaders to put children’s needs first. But the work is not done. The children of 30 years ago now have children of their own. Too many of these children are growing up in poverty, without access to healthcare or quality educational opportunities.

How can you be involved?

Make a tax-deductible donation to Voices for Utah Children—or join our Network with a monthly donation of $20 or more.  Network membership includes complimentary admission to Network events with food, socializing, and opportunity to meet child advocacy experts. And don't forget to join our listserv to stay informed!

We look forward to the future of Voices for Utah Children and we hope you will be a part of our next 30 years.

Special thanks to American Express, our "Making a Difference All Year Long" sponsor. Amex

Published in News & Blog
September 19, 2016

The Race for 49th Place

Utah has been the state with the lowest per-pupil spending on K-12 education since 1988, but in 2015, when Voices for Utah Children released the Utah Children’s Budget Report, we found reason to hope. 

“The gap between Utah and Idaho has been closing steadily since 2010,” we reported. “If the current trend continues, Utah will displace Idaho in 49th place in the national rankings when new national data are released.” Reference A 

Although 49th place didn’t seem like too ambitious a goal to shoot for, a year later, we are sorry to report that we didn’t overtake Idaho for their prized 49th place ranking. Utah remains at 50th place in per-pupil K-12 education spending—51st, if you count Washington DC. Reference B 

There’s nowhere to go but up.


For 30 years now, Voices for Utah Children has called on our state, federal and local leaders to put children’s needs first. But the work is not done. The children of 30 years ago now have children of their own. Too many of these children are growing up in poverty, without access to healthcare or quality educational opportunities.

How can you be involved?

Make a tax-deductible donation to Voices for Utah Children—or join our Network with a monthly donation of $20 or more.  Network membership includes complimentary admission to Network events with food, socializing, and opportunity to meet child advocacy experts. And don't forget to join our listserv to stay informed!

We look forward to the future of Voices for Utah Children and we hope you will be a part of our next 30 years.

Special thanks to American Express for sponsoring our 30th Anniversary Year. Amex

Published in News & Blog

What does it mean to live in an equitable place? States and regions are considered equitable when all residents—regardless of their race, ethnicity, nativity, neighborhood of residence, or other characteristics—are fully able to participate in their community’s economic vitality, contribute to its readiness for the future, and connect to its assets and resources.

Utah is undergoing a profound demographic transformation in which people of color are a rapidly growing minority. Already more than quarter of Utah’s children are of color; in the Greater Salt Lake area, people of color represented only 8.4 percent of the total population in 1980, compared to 25.1 percent in 2010.

1 EP SLC Racial Composition

Between 2000 and 2010, the Black population in Greater Salt Lake had the highest growth rate—just over 67 percent—whereas the Native American population had the lowest, at -0.6 percent.

2 EP SLC Race Pop Change

Our growing, diverse population has the potential to be a tremendous asset to our economy. But rising income inequality and persistent racial gaps in health, wealth, income, employment, education, and opportunity can prevent low-income people and people of color from participating fully in both our local and state economies. In the Salt Lake Metro, income for full-time workers at the 10th percentile has fallen by nearly 16 percent since 1979, while income for those at the 90th percentile risen by almost 4 percent.

This rising inequality disproportionately affects workers of color, who are concentrated in low-wage jobs that provide few opportunities for economic security or upward mobility. Workers of color consistently earn lower wages and are more likely to be jobless compared to their white counterparts, and racial gaps remain even among workers with similar education levels. In 2012, the median wage for workers of color in the Greater Salt Lake area was $7 less than the median wage for white workers.

3 EP SLC Wage Gap

Racial economic inclusion is good for families, good for communities, and good for the economy. In the Salt Lake Metro, GDP would have been close to $7.8 billion higher in 2012 if people of color had earned the same as their white counterparts. This means fewer families would have lived in poverty, and there would have been significantly more in tax revenue.

4 EP SLC Projected GDP

Economists, business leaders, and elected officials increasingly recognize that inequality is hindering economic growth, and that racial and economic inclusion are the drivers of a robust economy. To continue building a strong economy, both in Greater Salt Lake City and in Utah, leaders in the private and public sector need to advance an equitable growth agenda: a strategy to create good jobs, increase human capabilities, and expand opportunities for everyone to participate and prosper. Equity will make Utah stronger.

Printer-friendly Report:
pdfGreater Salt Lake City Equity Profile: A Closer Look at Racial & Ethnic Disparities


For 30 years now, Voices for Utah Children has called on our state, federal and local leaders to put children’s needs first. But the work is not done. The children of 30 years ago now have children of their own. Too many of these children are growing up in poverty, without access to healthcare or quality educational opportunities.

How can you be involved?

Make a tax-deductible donation to Voices for Utah Children—or join our Network with a monthly donation of $20 or more.  Network membership includes complimentary admission to Network events with food, socializing, and opportunity to meet child advocacy experts. And don't forget to join our listserv to stay informed!

We look forward to the future of Voices for Utah Children and we hope you will be a part of our next 30 years.

Special thanks to American Express for sponsoring our 30th Anniversary Year. Amex

Published in News & Blog
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Happy Women's Equality Day! The Nineteenth Amendment, granting women the right to vote, was certified on August 26, 1920. Each year, we commemorate this important milestone and evaluate our progress toward achieving full equality for American women.

Here in Utah, a big part of that goal is reducing our gender gap in wages, which is one of the highest in the nation. Voices for Utah Children described the wage gap problem in the report Utah’s Gender Opportunity: An examination of the difference between the earnings of Utah men and women.

Addressing workplace policies that have a disparate impact on women expectant parents cover by making it more difficult to balance work with family responsibilities is key to eliminating the gender gap.

Fortunately, Utah made some progress in that direction during the past year. The Utah Legislature passed Senate Bill 59, which requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant and breastfeeding women. The new law bumped Utah up from a failing grade to a C- in the National Partnership for Women & Families most recent rankings. Let's keep working our way up to an 'A'!


For 30 years now, Voices for Utah Children has called on our state, federal and local leaders to put children’s needs first. But the work is not done. The children of 30 years ago now have children of their own. Too many of these children are growing up in poverty, without access to healthcare or quality educational opportunities.

How can you be involved?

Make a tax-deductible donation to Voices for Utah Children—or join our Network with a monthly donation of $20 or more.  Network membership includes complimentary admission to Network events with food, socializing, and opportunity to meet child advocacy experts. And don't forget to join our listserv to stay informed!

We look forward to the future of Voices for Utah Children and we hope you will be a part of our next 30 years.

Special thanks to American Express for sponsoring our 30th Anniversary Year. Amex

Published in News & Blog
Tagged under
July 06, 2016

The wait is over!

Spread the word: lawfully residing immigrant kids can enroll in CHIP and Medicaid now!

As of July 1st, 2016, new legislation takes effect that eliminates the previously mandated 5-year waiting period before lawfully-residing immigrant children in Utah could enroll in CHIP and Medicaid. Thank you to the Utah Legislature and the Utah Department of Health for making this change! Five years is too long for a child to wait. More good news: the federal government will match up to 100% of the state dollars Utah spends to remove the 5-year waiting period, making this a fiscally-prudent policy change for Utah. 

Voices for Utah children supported ending the 5-year wait during the 2016 Utah Legislative Session. Utah has the highest rate of uninsured Hispanic children in the nation and the removal of the 5-year wait is a significant step to help all children in Utah access affordable health coverage.

In addition to allowing states to end the 5-year wait for children, the 2009 Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) gives states the option to expand insurance coverage to lawfully residing pregnant women.  Utah has not yet accepted that option. Going forward, let's end the 5-year wait for pregnant women, too! Prenatal care improves the health of both mothers and their children.

To learn more about CHIP and Medicaid eligibility, call 211 or visit takecareutah.org. (A Spanish version is available at takecareutah.org/es/.)


For 30 years now, Voices for Utah Children has called on our state, federal and local leaders to put children’s needs first. But the work is not done. The children of 30 years ago now have children of their own. Too many of these children are growing up in poverty, without access to healthcare or quality educational opportunities.

How can you be involved?

Make a tax-deductible donation to Voices for Utah Children—or join our Network with a monthly donation of $20 or more.  Network membership includes complimentary admission to Network events with food, socializing, and opportunity to meet child advocacy experts. And don't forget to join our listserv to stay informed!

We look forward to the future of Voices for Utah Children and we hope you will be a part of our next 30 years.

Special thanks to American Express for sponsoring our 30th Anniversary Year. Amex

Published in News & Blog
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