When lawmakers in Utah decided to boost per-pupil spending last year by 2 percent, many state residents cheered, envisioning that cash raining on teachers and classrooms.
In reality, much of the money was spoken for—by the state retirement system—before it ever hit schools, a Salt Lake Tribune investigation found. In the Salt Lake City and Alpine districts, not one cent of the increased student funding made it into classrooms. All went to the retirement system or health-care costs.
Lawmakers last year put about $166 million in new money toward education for this school year. Despite the increase, Utah still has the nation’s lowest per-pupil funding.
A version of this article appeared in the February 26, 2014 edition of Education Week as Extra School Funds Eaten Up by State Retirement System