K-12 EDUCATION

H.B. 215, combining “school choice” and teacher raises, approved by Utah House

Jan 20, 2023, 4:44 PM | Updated: 4:45 pm

The bill that would give parents money for private school is quickly moving through the Utah Legisl...

Members of the public line up for comment during a House Education Committee hearing on HB215 at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023. The bill would create the Utah Fits All Scholarships, which would link a teacher salary increase to a “school choice” program. (Deseret News)

(Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — The bill that would give parents money for private school is quickly moving through the Utah Legislature. H.B. 215, Funding for Teacher Salaries and Optional Education Opportunities was approved Friday by the full House by a vote of 54 to 20.

The bill creates a scholarship program that parents can apply for. They can then use the money for a private or charter school or for home school supplies.

 

“This is the beginning of us reinventing education in Utah,” said the bill’s House sponsor Rep. Candice B. Pierucci, R-Herriman.

The bill is two-fold. It provides public money to parents if they take their children out of Utah’s public schools, and it also provides Utah teachers with a $6,000 annual bonus.

Lawmakers debated the bill for at least an hour before their final vote sent it to the Utah Senate for consideration.

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox has said previously that he would not approve a voucher or school choice program that didn’t include a teacher pay bonus.

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H.B. 215, combining “school choice” and teacher raises, approved by Utah House