Utah school districts raise teacher salaries again
SALT LAKE CITY — Another year, another round of teacher pay increases.
School districts across northern Utah are looking to raise salaries as a way to fill a number of open positions and retain the good teachers they already have.
Granite District Spokesman Ben Horsley says districts are competing with each other and other states, two reasons why his district is promoting pay increases, a good overall compensation package, and a new, free healthcare clinic for teachers.
“I don’t think teachers come into this career thinking of the money, but in reality, it is an influential decision about where you want to work,” he said.
The Canyons School District just ratified their second pay raise in two years. Spokesman Jeff Haney says it adds up to a double-digit increase.
“We are worried about the teacher shortage. Every year, we are faced with having to fill every classroom in the Canyons School District,” said Haney.
The legislature did provide more funding this year for education, and for bonuses for educators.
Tooele and Jordan are the other districts which have already approved big raises. For many districts, it’s the second year in a row they’ve sought to increase teacher salaries.
“Teaching is the profession that teaches all other professions. we value our teachers, and we are saying so in a very clear message with this compensation package,” said Haney.
Horsley says during the recession, many teachers weren’t getting the standard cost-of-living increases that other professions received, and many districts are looking to make up that lost ground.
“I think you see pretty standard cost-of-living adjustments based on incremental increases from the legislature and funding. The reality is during the recession, those were cut back dramatically and did not occur,” said Horsley.
Horsley says Granite hired 500 teachers last year, and half came with experience. He believes the pay increases are helping attracted more experienced teachers.