Governor’s proposed budget a boon to Utah schools

SALT LAKE CITY -- It's an early Christmas for Governor Gary Herbert, with 382 million new dollars in the ongoing state budget and $102 million in one-time money available to divvy out to state agencies.

The governor's preference is to spend most of it on public and higher education.

Herbert went the the Davis Technical College in Kaysville to release his annual budget recommendations as required in the State Constitution.

The largest investment of new money would come in the form of a 4 percent increase to the weighted pupil unit, a formula that distributes money to schools based on student population and needs.

On top of the across-the-board WPU increase, Herbert wants an additional 1.6 percent for students considered at-risk because of economic or other demographic factors.

All in all, the WPU increases would cost $170 million of the $208 million the governor is designating for K-12 public education.

The governor wants to spend an additional $102 million for higher education. Of that, $68 million would come from ongoing funds spent largely to increase salaries and defray tuition hikes.

The $34 million in one-time funds would include a new building at the Davis Technical College location where the governor spoke.

"The building will allow us to nearly double the output of nurses, medical assistants and dental assistants," said Mike Bouwhuis, President and CEO of the school.

The governor has powerful influence, both with his veto pen and as the person who opens the budget conversation, but it's the state legislature that finalizes the budget each year.

In the video above, learn more about some of the winners in the governor's proposed budget. You can read the full recommendation from Herbert here.