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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Politics of Policy Change: How Utah Funded Prekindergarten through Pay for Success
by Davis, Wendy S., Ph.D., The University of Utah, 2019, 241; 22617715
Abstract (Summary)

When the Utah State Legislature convened in January 2014, not one dollar of state funds was allocated to support preschool programs. In advance of the 2014 Utah General Legislative session, policy architects designed a sustainable economic model that would allow Utah to partially fund preschool through a Pay for Success funding mechanism. Pay for Success is a new and emerging policy arena, one where governments partner with private investors to fund programs that seek to address common social problems like juvenile recidivism, homelessness, and lack of early childhood education. In March 2014, Utah passed a Pay for Success bill that would partially fund preschool for at-risk children in the state.

The Utah Preschool Pay for Success policy acted as a catalyst for policy change; it enabled other conversations about early childhood education funding in Utah. By 2019, the Utah State Legislature had passed multiple bills that demonstrated the state’s commitment to early childhood education. The passage of multiple preschool bills, including bills that appropriated new funding, was an indication that educational policy change had occurred.

The Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) is a policy process theory that tells us of the circumstances that enable policy change. The ACF is about coalitions, deep-rooted coalition belief systems, and how coalitions with competing interests can influence policy. Through the lens of the Advocacy Coalition Framework, it is possible to explain how a Pay for Success initiative led to educational policy change in the state of Utah.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Burbank, Matthew
Commitee: Curry, James, Green, Richard, Schwartz-Shea, Peregrine, Robinson, Jennifer
School: The University of Utah
Department: Political Science
School Location: United States -- Utah
Source: DAI-A 81/9(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Political science, Education finance, Education Policy
Keywords: ACF, Advocacy Coalition Framework, Pay for Success, Preschool, Utah
Publication Number: 22617715
ISBN: 9781658458429
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