Why We Are Here

There is a drastic difference in the performance of public schools. Low-income neighborhood schools perform substantially below their counterparts in more affluent neighborhoods. Low-income families often choose where to live based on affordability. Their children are too frequently trapped in areas where schools are overwhelmed and underperforming. The performance disparity in public schools is sobering.

 Here are the startling demographic realities in Utah:

  • Utah’s school-age population is exploding, expecting an increase of 140,000 new students over the next decade.
  • In Utah, approximately half of Latinos fail to graduate from high school.
  • Last year in Utah, 58 percent of American Indian, 54 percent of Hispanic and 47 percent of Black students failed core curriculum tests.
  • Low-income students in Utah have an 11.5 percent chance of going to college.
  • Utah’s taxes to support education are near the highest in the nation while per pupil spending is among the lowest. 

Jordan Clements, founder of Children First Utah, believes that the only way to improve conditions for the underprivileged is to ensure that every child has access to a high-quality education. Parents have the most intimate view of their children’s needs. They are also best suited to determine what institution will best meet their children’s unique needs. Our scholarships offer families alternatives to the drastically uneven quality of the public school system.

Education is our greatest hope in the war against poverty. While legislators wrestle to fix the thorny structural problems of the public schools, Children First Utah is providing opportunity to children whose parents are committed to rescuing them from a faulty system. All Utah children deserve the best education we can provide.  We must put children first!

"As many as 40 million school-aged children in the United States are at risk of either failing, dropping out, or falling victim to crime, drugs, teenage pregnancy and chronic unemployment. Statistics show that such problems correlate strongly with ignorance and illiteracy. The costs are staggering. Children First Utah is committed to the advice of founding father Benjamin Franklin: 'An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.' For every child who receives a successful education, society averts the social consequences and costs of a failed adult. "

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