The Utah WPU

As the school year begins and students again make their way to our buildings, I thought I would take a minute to remind everyone the process we use to fund public education.  Public education as we know it was assumed to mean an education system that was funded with public dollars.  But in the last decade or so, the definition has become more complex.  It including such things as ADA (Average Daily Attendance) and ADM (Average Daily Membership), with student tracking to guarantee no local school gets more than the allocated funds meant to cover a student’s 180-day school year.

This allocation is called the WPU or the Weight Pupil Unit which is equal to a little over $3,000 per student.  Our local schools are allocated a WPU for each student in the district to cover their instructional costs for the year.  Additional WPU’s are given to the district to pay professional staff costs, additional program expectations, and as an incentive for schools to perform or offer students additional programs such as CTE (Career and Technical Education).  The WPU accounts for roughly half of the state’s education funding to schools. It is allotted based on student population.  As school populations grow, they receive more WPUs but if populations drop, WPUs also drop and our money to instruct students drops too.

Welcome back to school.  Have a great year!

Tracy Davis, Superintendent

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