State Constitutionality and Adequacy: Signposts of Concern on Utah's Path Toward Developing Vouchers by ProQuest


The State of Utah was the focus of a national education debate in 2007 after the legislature passed a universal voucher program, House Bill 148, by the slim margin of one vote. The authors of this article have witnessed and been involved in Utah's public debates regarding House Bill 148 and its predecessor bills and conclude that several key issues confronting a voucher plan in Utah have been inadequately considered in the current legislative and political climate. The possibility of state constitutional infirmity has apparently been dismissed by advocates of Utah's voucher bill. Such a dismissal of the potential unconstitutionality of such a sweeping bill seems somewhat misplaced -- especially in light of the completely open nature of Utah's proposed universal voucher. At the very least, it seems an expensive experiment, especially in light of the authors' opinion that attention to adequacy of education has far greater potential to improve educational opportunities for all Utah's schoolchildren -- including those of low socio-economic status.

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