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Utah voters pass big change to how education is funded

November 6, 2020 GMT

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah voters have approved a major structural change to how schools are funded.

The proposal known as Amendment G had earned 54% of the vote after new results were posted Friday afternoon. It changes a constitutional requirement that income taxes be only used to fund education.

Instead, that money can now also be used for programs to help children and people with disabilities.

Its passage also triggers a new state law that creates a public education stabilization fund to protect that money during economic downturns. It also requires lawmakers to fund student enrollment growth at a rate that keeps pace with inflation each year.

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Proponents have said the new system stabilizes education funding while helping shore up tax revenues overall.

Critics, though, have worried that allowing income tax to fund social programs could draw money away from education, which in Utah is among the lowest per-pupil in the country.