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Here’s how the Utah Fits All Scholarship could ‘really change’ home-schooling

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Here’s how the Utah Fits All Scholarship could ‘really change’ home-schooling


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SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Legislature’s passage of HB215 in January established the Utah Fits All Scholarship program that will allow 5,000 Utah K-12 students to access scholarships up to $8,000 in state funds for education expenses and services like private and charter school tuition, fees and more.

While much of the public discussion surrounding the bill largely focused on private and charter schools, it will also allow home-schooling families to have more robust options for educating their children at home.

Starting in the 2024-25 school year, these families can use the scholarship funds for everything from classroom supplies like pencils and paper to extracurricular activities like music lessons, martial arts and gymnastics.

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“Eight-thousand dollars could really change the way they educate their children,” said Jamie Buckland, founder of West Virginia Families United for Education.

A home-schooling parent herself, Buckland spoke Tuesday evening as part of a panel of other home-schooling and school choice advocates hosted by Utah Education Fits All to discuss how the program can be used for home-schooling.

Buckland, who lives in West Virginia, home-schools two of her children. One of them is a Hope Scholarship recipient (West Virginia’s version of the Utah Fits All Scholarship) and one isn’t.

“When looking at our curriculum options … our older daughter, she’s had to kind of pick and choose … because she’s still a traditional home-schooler and so she doesn’t have that extra funding,” Buckland said. “With her, we feel limited.”

She added that home-schoolers who receive a scholarship are exposed to new educational opportunities that might not have been accessible before, whether for logistical or financial reasons.

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Home-schooling is also on the rise in Utah. In fact, interest in home-schooling in the state has increased by almost 90% since 2019 and Utah ranks third nationwide for the best state to home-school children, according to a July study by the Age of Learning.

Through scholarships like Hope and Utah Fits All, funds are deposited into an Education Savings Account, -which is a government-authorized account into which public funds are deposited for families who withdraw their children from public school.

Jenny Clark, a member of the Arizona Board of Education, said that school choice scholarships allow for unique customization options for a student’s education and give more options to families who feel public, private and charter schools don’t meet their needs.

She also said that Education Savings Account parents have created groups to share and swap curriculums.

“ESAs absolutely grow opportunities and the thing that I love is when homeschooling families go … ‘You know what, like, I’m really good at knitting and weaving and I wonder what it would look like to, you know, start an LLC and start offering classes to students who are really interested in fiber arts and to start offering those classes to these students,’” Clark said.

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She added that in Arizona, she has seen “hundreds” of people start companies focused on a client base of Education Savings Account families.

A controversial bill

While the passing of HB215 was championed by parents’ rights and school choice advocates, some education officials denounced the bill, in large part due to fears that “private schools will receive public money that should go to public schools,” Utah State Board of Education member Carol Lear said in January.

Critics of the bill also questioned how it was “shamelessly connected” to raising teacher salaries. Along with providing up to $8,000 in state funds for private school, home-schooling or other private educational options, the bill also funded a $6,000 compensation increase for educators.

Rep. Doug Welton, R-Payson, who is an educator, said tying the pay raise for teachers to the school choice scholarship felt like “one of the largest bribes to pass funding,” but he ultimately voted for it.

The bill passed largely along party lines, with most Republicans in the House and Senate supporting it and most Democrats opposing it.

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People can learn more about the Utah Fits All Scholarship here.

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Logan Stefanich is a reporter with KSL.com, covering southern Utah communities, education, business and tech news.

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Utah

Washington Wizards at Utah Jazz: preview, game time, channel

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Washington Wizards at Utah Jazz: preview, game time, channel


Tonight, the injury-riddled Jazz will be back at the Delta Center to take on the coldest team in the league, the Washington Wizards. The Wizards have been looking for their elusive double-digit win total on the season and have tried to get to ten wins – unsuccessfully, I must add – for the last 14 straight games. You heard that correct, the Wizards hit a double-digit losing streak before hitting double-digit wins this season. That’s a tough pill to swallow, but it also puts the Jazz in a decent position to end their own three-game losing streak.

As favorable of a matchup as the Wizards are on paper, the Jazz will be without some key players tonight, namely Lauri Markkanen and Walker Kessler. The towering duo will be watching from the sideline as a combination of John Collins, Omer Yurtseven, and Taylor Hendricks tackle the frontcourt duties for the Jazz.

The most exciting part of the game for Utah Jazz fans – and truthfully, the remainder of the season – will be watching the Jazz’s three young rookies showcase their abilities. Taylor Hendricks and Keyonte George have been on a tear as of late, Hendricks averaging 9.4 points and eight rebounds, and George averaging 17.4 points and six assists over their last five games respectively. Even Brice Sensabaugh has made the most of his recent minutes, averaging five points a game while shooting 46% from three over his last five games.

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Will the rookies pave the way to a Jazz win tonight? If not – assuming you haven’t already – you may want to scratch “Watching the Jazz compete in the Play-in tournament” off your wish list this season.

Game info

When: Monday, March 4, 2024, 7:00 MT

Where: Delta Center, Salt Lake City, UT

TV/Streaming: Jazz+, KJZZ

Radio: KSL 1160 AM & 97.5 FM

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Slimming down for spring? How the standard Utah diet has failed you

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Slimming down for spring? How the standard Utah diet has failed you


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As a nation, there’s no denying that Americans are getting sicker and fatter. And according to long-time nutrition executive and the co-founder of a new science-based health and wellness company, Joel Bikman, it may not be your fault.

From the time that the U.S. government first set dietary guidelines in 1977, the food industry has completely shifted the types of foods they produce, mostly to our overall detriment. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the weight of the average adult American has skyrocketed since that time — a weight increase of nearly 30 pounds.

“For the first time in history, we had a government telling us what to eat,” said Bikman. “And our weight and health have only suffered for it.”

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The problem with the Standard American Diet (SAD)

For a variety of reasons, the government had been on the search for a way to “fix” diet for some time. With the support of one dubious study, they determined that the culprit was dietary fat and later introduced the infamous “food pyramid” that vilified natural healthy fats in favor of an increase in the consumption of refined unhealthy carbs. The results on the nation’s health and weight couldn’t have been worse.

“Of the three macronutrients, carbohydrates are the least necessary for the average adult and the most problematic for those struggling with metabolic problems,” said Bikman. “The health and weight challenges we’re seeing today are mostly because of that misguided shift in diet.”

Slimming down for spring? How the standard Utah diet has failed you
Photo: Elena Schweitzer/Shutterstock.com

The ‘fat’ secret

In fact, Bikman says that increasing the consumption of healthy fats may be the most important change you can make, supporting metabolic health, brain health and more.

“Our ancestors knew that fats were the most nutrient-dense substances they could eat,” said Bikman. “Natural fats provide you with needed nutrition for your brain and body, they help you feel satisfied, curb your desire for sweets, and even help train your body to burn excess body fat.”

Bikman emphasizes that not all fats are created equal. Processed seed oils from soy, corn and canola are particularly harmful, while fats from olives, coconuts, cocoa butter, ghee and more are uniquely beneficial.

“It’s important to get a wide spectrum of healthy fats, from short-, medium- and long-chain sources,” said Bikman. “It’s not about taking a shot of MCT oil or a big pat of butter and calling it a day.”

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Power of protein

Bikman is also surprised at the confusion over protein. Some people advocate for very little, others consume it to excess, while others simply make poor protein choices.

“You have competing mindsets on protein with very little legitimate science behind the arguments,” he said. “We’ve learned that protein is essential, especially as you age, but it needs to be consumed in conjunction with fat, just as is found in nature.”

The best types of protein, according to Bikman, are whey, egg whites and collagen. He emphasizes that those have the highest biological value, offer the most complete essential amino acid profile, and support lean and toned muscle, healthy joints, cartilage and bone health.

“People with dairy allergies or those who prefer a plant-based diet have historically been at a real nutritional disadvantage,” said Bikman. “Plant proteins have anti-nutrients that prevent absorption, but there’s hope in specially-fermented protein sources that are as bioavailable as whey protein and provide a complete amino acid profile.”

Slimming down for spring? How the standard Utah diet has failed you
Photo: Jukov studio/Shutterstock.com

The essential boost to your diet

Even with all of the information that Bikman and others share, people around the world constantly ask what they should do for their health.

“Ideally, we all would have the knowledge, time, discipline and budget to plan, purchase and prepare perfect meals,” said Bikman. “But it simply doesn’t happen; people get busy, they get stressed and they make unhealthy choices that derail their health goals.”

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It became apparent to Bikman that he and his team could be part of the solution to help people achieve their best health more quickly, and especially to assist those that don’t always have the time, knowledge or discipline to eat healthy. In response, Bikman and his co-founding team of metabolic, nutrition and industry experts created HLTH Code Complete Meal.

Slimming down for spring? How the standard Utah diet has failed you
Photo: HLTH Code

Bikman says these carefully formulated meal shakes are designed to promote healthy weight management, gut health, brain health, even hair, skin and nail health. HLTH Code Complete Meal features an optimized, science-backed blend of protein, collagen, healthy fats, apple cider vinegar, probiotics, fiber, vitamins and minerals — with no added sugar or any artificial ingredients.

“HLTH Code Complete Meal is based on research, not fads,” said Bikman. “An incredible amount of work went into making this nutritionally balanced and optimized, yet we knew that if it didn’t taste good, no one would use them consistently.”

Keeping hunger at bay (the right way)

When it comes to eating, Bikman said it’s easy to consume plenty of calories and still feel hungry. This is because the calories consumed are not the right types of calories to provide essential nutrition. He refers to this as “mis-nourishment” and he says it’s ruining many people’s health.

“Each HLTH Code Complete Meal shake is packed with optimized amounts of these ingredients to leave you feeling full and energized for hours,” said Bikman. “Yet it’s more convenient and affordable than virtually any meal you could make or buy.”

Bikman says the shakes are quick and easy to make: Just add two scoops of Creamy Vanilla or Chocolate Macadamia Complete Meal Powder to 8 oz. of cold water and shake or blend. For general wellness, he recommends replacing one meal daily. To reset your health or for weight loss, replace up to two meals per day.

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“[I’ve] been using HLTH Code for about 2 weeks and I feel healthier, having more energy and having less cravings – love this product!!!” said one reviewer.

Another reviewer shares, “I started losing weight quickly because I have found that I no longer eat between meals, I do not ‘crave’ carbs and I’m automatically doing intermittent fasting, not purposely but because I just don’t get hungry.”

And yet another reviewer shares, “The results have been phenomenal! Thank you HLTH Code. The shakes are yummy but the weight loss results are miraculous.”

Can HLTH Code help make weight loss easier?

According to Bikman, the best health starts with the right blend of nutrition. Increased energy; feeling more vibrant; a stronger immune system; a clearer mind; improved gut health; and an improved appearance are some of the benefits from improving one’s nutrition.

“The comprehensive benefits of HLTH Code Complete Meal are especially helpful if you’re trying to lose weight,” said Bikman. “Weight loss is rarely easy. There has to be the right changes in both hormones and caloric balance to signal to the body that it’s time to start burning, not storing, fat.”

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Bikman adds that based on the best available studies on human metabolism, along with exercise, HLTH Code Complete Meal helps people lose weight without the need for counting every calorie.

Slimming down for spring? How the standard Utah diet has failed you

Your satisfaction is guaranteed

If you’re nervous about trying something new and making changes to your nutrition plan, don’t be. Bikman stands by his HLTH Code Meal Replacement products and is willing to guarantee your satisfaction.

“You have nothing to lose (except those extra pounds) and everything to gain—in terms of wellness and confidence,” said Bikman.

Indeed, if you’ve been looking for improved wellness and healthy weight management, then HLTH Code Complete Meal could well be your answer. For exclusive savings on your first order, visit getHLTH.com and enter the discount code KSL at checkout.


The opinions and conclusions expressed in this article are the sponsor’s own and do not reflect the views or opinions of KSL.com. This Site Does Not Provide Medical Advice. Any content on this Site, such as text, graphics, images, information obtained from, or contained on this Site are for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site! The owner and operator of this site do not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the site. Reliance on any information provided by the Operator, including their employees, contractors or others appearing on the Site at the invitation of the Operator, or other visitors to the Site is solely at your own risk. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.

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Winter storm alert still active for central and northern Utah, caution advised

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Winter storm alert still active for central and northern Utah, caution advised


SALT LAKE CITY — The Beehive State faced the aftermath of a California blizzard on Saturday, causing damaging wind conditions and blankets of snow. Though it might seem the worst is over, a winter storm advisory remains in effect until 5 p.m. Sunday, meaning more precautions are in order.

Continued caution in Utah’s valleys

According to KSL Meteorologist Kristen Van Dyke, the strongest wind gusts from Saturday marked an 85 mph high in East Layton and came as high as 65 mph in Draper. Van Dyke said that blustery conditions would remain into Sunday, leaving gusts between 35 and 45 mph.

Van Dyke said that snow showers would be isolated on Sunday afternoon, with leftover showers lingering first in central Utah and moving their way up north. However, it may still mean the Wasatch Front picks up another 1-3 inches of snow.

The Utah Department of Traffic posted early afternoon Sunday that state Route 31 would be closed from mile marker 8 to 18 in Sanpete County.

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Road conditions remain dangerous throughout the state, and if travel is necessary, extreme caution is advised. Meteorologists advise packing an extra flashlight, food, and water in case of emergency. Utah Highway Patrol said that the storm had caused 282 traffic crashes during the storm, 103 of those were from Sunday.

Delays, cancelations reported at Salt Lake City International Airport

Mountain warnings

The Utah Avalanche Center warned early morning Sunday that strong winds had created a “considerable avalanche danger across the mid and upper elevations,” saying avalanches could potentially be 1-3 feet deep, and large enough to bury a human.

KSL Meteorologist Kevin Eubank said that Southern Utah’s mountain ranges will see 12 to 24 inches of snowfall through Sunday evening.

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