UEA opposes H.B. 215, says “school choice” and teacher salaries are separate

Jan 19, 2023, 8:30 PM | Updated: Jan 20, 2023, 3:40 pm
The Utah Education Association is opposed to H. B. 215. The UEA says school choice and a teacher pa...
The Utah Education Association is opposed to H. B. 215. The UEA says school choice and a teacher pay increase are two separate issues that should be debated individually. File Photo.

SALT LAKE CITY — One of the bills already drawing a lot of attention in the 2023 Utah Legislative Sessions is that of H.B. 215 which provides for school choice and a pay raise for teachers. The Utah Education Association says the two items should be separated. 

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Candace Pierucci (R-Herriman). The school choice portion of the bill allows for money to be provided to parents so they can choose where their children are educated. However, that voucher or scholarship, as some people call it, is also tied to a salary increase for teachers.

It was up for discussion in the House Education Committee on Thursday.

Renée Pinkney, president of the Utah Education Association, joined Inside Sources Thursday hosted by Leah Murray and Taylor Morgan to discuss the bill.

Pinkney says the UEA is opposed to the bill. 

“So, the UEA has a long-standing position that any voucher or tuition tax credit, slash tax scholarship plan under which private education is subsidized with public tax dollars could weaken the public school system,” she said. 

Pinkney says the UEA believes the two issues in the bill should be separated and discussed individually on their own merit. 

Murray said, “It feels like a compromise to me, but it seems like it’s a non-starter for you. And could you explain that for me?”

“So, we have yet to realize a fully-funded public education system in Utah,” Pinkney said. “I was in the classroom for 27 years, and we have never had a fully-funded public education system.”

Compromising values for raise in teacher pay?

Pinkney says vouchers take limited funding away from public schools and give it to private schools.

“And instead, we must invest in our Utah public schools that 90 percent of students attend,” she said. “So, what we’re being asked to do is compromise our values for an increase in teacher compensation.”

She stresses that an increase in teacher salaries shouldn’t come with strings attached. Instead, it should be based on the vital work teachers do every day. 

Morgan asked, “Is the UEA planning to take any kind of action, like a walkout, or anything else in opposition to H.B. 215?”

“Right now, we are the beginning of the legislative session,” Pinkney said. “And we are going to do everything we possibly can to defeat this bill. Or get the two subjects separated so that they can be debated and then defeat the voucher bill.”


Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app. 

Read more:


We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Education + Schools

Hunter High...
Elizabeth Weiler

Hunter High and Hunter Elementary Schools on lockout

SALT LAKE CITY — Hunter High and Hunter Elementary Schools have been placed on lockout protocol, ordered by the West Valley City Police Department because of “suspicious activity off campus in the neighboring area.”  No injuries have been reported and Granite school officials are telling families to not come to campus.  Granite school officials wrote, […]
12 hours ago
Utah 2022 legislative session...
Lindsay Aerts

Home schools and micro-schooling defined under new Utah bill

A new bill in the Utah legislature is seeking to redefine home schools and micro-schools under Utah law.
12 hours ago
Police siren pictured, eagle mountain police in a standoff right now...
Mark Jones

Boy injured after falling from slide at Rose Springs Elementary School

The Tooele County Sheriff's Office says an 8-year-old boy is in critical but stable condition after falling off a slide at school Monday morning.
2 days ago
For the second year, Utah Transit Authority (UTA) will be hosting “My BeUTAHful” art competitio...
Elizabeth Weiler

Win a UTA pass, art supplies and gift cards in student art competition

For the second year, Utah Transit Authority (UTA) will be hosting “My BeUTAHful” art competition. From now until March 20, students k-12 may submit their original art following the theme "Imagine + Lead + Change".
2 days ago
SLCC to host Black History Month events....
Waverly Golden

Salt Lake Community College to host Black History Month events

The Salt Lake City Community College is hosting numerous events in recognition of Black History Month including a film viewing and panel.
5 days ago
One of the topics being discussed during the 2023 Utah Legislative Session is how to combat the tea...
Mark Jones

Bill would allow individuals to become teachers without a bachelor’s degree

A bill being discussed on in the legislative session would allow for individuals to become teachers without obtaining a bachelor's degree.
7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a New Winter Activity? Try Skijoring in Bear Lake

This article about skijoring is sponsored by the Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau. Participate in Skijoring the Bear on February 20th, 2023.  What is skijoring? Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and […]
Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
UEA opposes H.B. 215, says “school choice” and teacher salaries are separate