LAYTON -- Improving Utah's economy will bring in revenues, which in turn will generate additional funds for education, said Gov. Gary Herbert.
"We did that last year and were able to bring $200 million of new funds into education. If the economy continues to grow as I hope with the next budget cycle we can put another $150 million or so into education," Herbert said Tuesday.
The governor spoke to about 200 members of the Northern Utah Chamber Coalition at Weber State University Davis campus.
The coalition, which was formed four years ago, consists of the chambers of commerce from Brigham City, Cache County, Ogden-Weber and Davis County, The group works together on issues that cross county boundaries, like transportation, education, economic development and tourism.
Herbert was asked how the state can generate more funds for education.
Herbert said lawmakers have two choices: Raise taxes or find ways to improve the economy.
Herbert favors improving the economy over raising taxes. He said California and Illinois raised taxes to fund education. Both states have seen job losses because employers cannot pay higher taxes and continue employing others.
Asked how the state can help businesses grow, the governor said cutting back on regulations to make it easier for the average person to start a business and for existing businesses to continue could stimulate growth.
He told the group that by working as a team they can make changes in Northern Utah that will have a positive impact on the state as a whole.
Herbert said one of his goals is to have 20,200 volunteers from businesses in the classrooms.
"Our classrooms are large and will continue to get large," Herbert said. "We can mitigate those larger classrooms with volunteers."
Herbert said although Utah is ranked 50th among states in per pupil spending, it still ranks No. 8 for the number of students taking the ACT exams each year.
"We are blazing trails and making (Utah) better for those coming up behind us," Herbert said.