Together, we can improve education in Utah.

Watch these videos and explore this site to learn what we can do to improve education.

Begin with preschool
High-quality preschool will put me on a path to success.
Preschool can make sure every child starts school ready to learn.

High quality preschool can help every child have the right foundation to gain the knowledge and skills they’ll need.

Even though preschool is for young children, the effects of good preschool can last throughout a child’s education and throughout a child’s life—helping them become productive, contributing members of society.

Utah Success Stories
Helping children exceed expectations

Goldman Sachs has partnered with Granite School District, United Way, and Salt Lake County to provide high-quality preschool to hundreds of children. Goldman Sachs' financing has resulted in many fewer students needing special education later on in their education, saving money for schools across Salt Lake County.

Every year, thousands of kids start school without the foundational skills to learn and succeed.

Many students are behind before they even start school, and they may never catch up. Kids from tough circumstances—including children growing up in poverty or children whose families don’t speak English—are especially likely to be unprepared for kindergarten and first grade.

Once kids start behind, it can be very difficult to catch up. Because most brain development occurs early in life, the earlier we help these children, the more effective that help will be.

Preschool provides the foundational academic and social skills that kids need in school. And the effects last.

In Salt Lake City (see video to the left), 110 children out of a 700-child cohort tested as severely behind and likely to need special education in kindergarten and first grade. After just one year of preschool in a Granite School District preschool program, 109 out of those 110 were able to overcome their challenges and be completely school-ready.

Graduates of Granite School District's preschool program are now as old as high school and have consistently outperformed their peers, been on honor rolls, and are on track to graduate at much higher rates than was expected before preschool.

For almost a decade, the state of Utah has pioneered an innovative, at home school readiness program called UPSTART which currently serves over 20% of Utah’s 4-year-olds. UPSTART is an online program that partners with parents to help get children ready for school.  Independent research indicates that children who used the program continued to outperform their peers in reading, math and science through 4th grade. These gains held for all categories of at-risk children: English Language Learners, minority, special education, and low income.

More than Grades

Kids who go to high-quality preschool programs are prepared academically, but also learn important social skills that help the do well in school all-around.

Better
Citizens

Teenagers who attended preschool are less likely than peers from similar backgrounds to end up going through the juvenile court system.

Community
Payback

Every dollar spent on preschool can also save about $7 in taxpayer money by helping kids avoid special education, criminal justice, or other interventions.

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My Education Story
Why does education matter to you?

We all have a story about education. Remember that teacher that made an impact? Or the moment you realized why school mattered to you? Or when you felt like you could see wheels turning in your baby’s head? Click below to hear more stories and to share your own!

Our Research

Getting children in preschool has been proven to deliver the outcomes Utahns want from education: a higher quality of life, the knowledge and skills they need to achieve their goals, and prosperous communities. Take a look at the research and resources below to learn how getting children in preschool will create a brighter future for all of us.

 

Get The Facts
In Utah, out of 110 Utah 4-year olds enrolled in a high-quality preschool program who were identified as at risk for needing special education service in kindergarten, only one ended up needing it. This cost avoidance saved the State over a quarter million dollars in that year alone based on a special education add-on cost of $2,607 per child.
Get the facts
Children from low-income families are more likely to enter school with fewer skills identified as important for school readiness. Unfortunately, the children who start behind tend to stay behind.

http://educationpolicy.air.org/sites/default/files/10-Preschool.pdf

Get The Facts
Granite School District has operated its preschool program, targeted at students identified as living in poverty, since 2006. Granite School District reports that students enrolled in the preschool program significantly outperformed similar students who did not participate in the program, into 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades.
Get The Facts
High quality preschool for children ages three and four has a substantial impact on early learning and development for all children and prepares them to enter kindergarten ready to learn and engage in education, especially for those children who may not be able to access these resources on their own.

Illinois State Board of Education (2013). Illinois early learning and development standards. For preschool (3 years old) to kindergarten enrollment age ; Yoshikawa, H., Weiland, C., Brooks-Gunn, J., Burchinal, M. R., Espinosa, L. M., Gormley, W. T., . . . Zaslow, M. J. (2013). Investing in our future: The evidence base on preschool education (Vol. 9): Society for Research in Child Development and Foundation for Child Development.

Get The Facts | Tune In.
Investing in high-quality pre-kindergarten will save the State millions of dollars on special education and remedial education costs.
Yoshikawa, H., Weiland, C., Brooks-Gunn, J., Burchinal, M. R., Espinosa, L. M., Gormley, W. T., . . . Zaslow, M. J. (2013). Investing in our future: The evidence base on preschool education (Vol. 9): Society for Research in Child Development and Foundation for Child Development.
Get The Facts
Available benefit-cost estimates based on older, intensive interventions, range from three to seven dollars saved for every dollar spent.
Get The Facts
Returns to investment in human capital are higher if investments are made in the early years. The earlier a government invests in a child, the longer the state has to reap the benefits.

The Early Years: Child well-bring and the role of public policy

Get The Facts
Research suggests that children of all income levels gain from pre-K, but the impacts are largest among disadvantaged children. The study of universal pre-K in Oklahoma found that effects were particularly large for Hispanic children across all three cognitive domains tested – pre-reading skills, pre-math skills, and pre-writing skills.
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Talk to
your baby

When we talk, read, and sing to babies and toddlers, we help their brains grow so they can gain the knowledge and skills they’ll need in life. Talking to and interacting with children from the moment they’re born will lay the foundation for the happy, productive communities we want in the future.

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Support great
teachers

If we support our teachers, we will ensure we always have enough great teachers to help our children be successful. Great teachers help our kids gain the knowledge and skills they need to pursue their goals and be prepared for life. They give our kids confidence and set our kids on a path to becoming happy, productive adults who make our communities stronger.