EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

Proposed bill focuses exclusively on Utah teacher pay

Jan 24, 2023, 9:00 AM | Updated: Feb 1, 2024, 9:06 am

Members of the public line up for comment during a House Education Committee hearing on HB215 at th...

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. (Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News 2021)

(Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News 2021)

SALT LAKE CITY — There are several bills focused on education in the 2023 Utah Legislative Session, including a bill that marries teacher pay with school choice. But one lawmaker is backing legislation aimed solely at teacher pay.

While HB215, the Opportunity Scholarship bill, does increase teacher pay, Rep. Angela Romero, D-Salt Lake City, said teacher pay is so important that it deserves its own bill. 

I really felt strongly that the Opportunity Scholarship bill and teachers’ pay increase should not be the same bill,” said Romero.

If passed, Rep. Angela Romero will give teachers and other public school employees an extra $10,200 dollars a year.

“This is a number I thought that was fair based on inflation and everything else that is going on with our economy,” said Romero. 

Romero says our teachers are worth the pay increase.

“Teachers are our lifeline and they are the people we send our children to every day,” Romero said.

Teachers deserve their pay increase and it shouldn’t be tied to any other bill. It should be its own bill, on its own merit and we need to have the discussion about why we need to pay our teachers more.”

Romero believes public funds belong in public schools and that’s why she created this separate bill. She also hopes House Bill 271 will pass and keep public money within public schools.

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Proposed bill focuses exclusively on Utah teacher pay