Teachers at West High School walkout in of protest H.B. 215

Jan 25, 2023, 8:23 PM

East High School teacher Elyse Arrington, center, cheers during a teacher and student walkout prote...

East High School teacher Elyse Arrington, center, cheers during a teacher and student walkout protesting school vouchers and HB215 outside of East High School in Salt Lake City, on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023. Walkouts also took place at West High School and Highland High School. Kristin Murphy/Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Nearly two dozen teachers at West High School held a walk-out Wednesday during their lunch hour in protest of H.B. 215

During the walkout, teachers chanted and called out government for taking funding from public school.

The bill would give teachers a $6,000 raise. But on the other hand, it would give $8,000 to students who want to go to a private or chartered school. The teachers at Wednesday’s walkout say they would rather see the money be put toward public education. 

Rilee Pickle, a language arts teacher at West High School, attended the walkout.

“If we fund public schools with public money instead of putting public money into private schools,” she said. “It would help my students afford things like books, state tests and have a better overall experience.”

Bill would hurt West High teachers and others

Pickle says having the scholarship vouchers and a teacher salary increase tied together hurts educators.

“Actually, hurts public school teacher morale,” she said. “We don’t believe that our salaries should come at the expense of our students. And we’re unwilling to compromise our values for more money.”

Lawmakers in support of the bill say it isn’t a threat public education. 

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Teachers at West High School walkout in of protest H.B. 215