What’s the lure for new teachers in Utah?

Aug 17, 2023, 9:00 PM

teachers in Utah...

Fourth grade teacher Emily Weigel shows her students that it might be hard to fit under their desks if they squat instead of sitting cross legged as they prepare to participate in the Great Utah Shakeout, the statewide earthquake preparedness drill, at Canyon View Elementary School in Cottonwood Heights on Thursday, April 20, 2023. (Kristen Murphey/Deseret News)

(Kristen Murphey/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — According to sampling conducted by KSL NewsRadio, a combined total of roughly 1,800 teachers have been hired across five Utah school districts. With so many teachers being hired, what’s the lure for new teachers in Utah?

KSL NewsRadio’s Dave Noriega and Debbie Dujanovic discuss this and analyze a few of Utah’s school district’s needs when it comes to teachers.

How many new teachers does Utah need?

 According to Envision Utah, the Beehive State loses approximately 3,200 teachers per year and gains approximately 2,400. This leaves the state at an 800-teacher deficit.

“It’s not surprising at all that the numbers are very high in every district where they have to hire hundreds of teachers to replace these retiring instructors,” Noriega said. 

Superintendent of the Jordan School District Anthony Godfrey said it hired 450 new teachers for the 2023-2024 school year.

“We’re a growing school district … Every year, we hire hundreds and hundreds of teachers just because we’re a large district and we’ve had about the same level of turnover for many years now,” he said.

Along with this, Canyons School District hired around 300 new teachers; Granite School District hired around 368; Alpine School District around 400; Davis School District around 330.

“So clearly, there’s people who are interested in the job,” Dujanovic said.

What’s in it for new teachers in Utah?

Superintendent Godfrey said a part of the lure comes from the “allocation from the legislature of taxpayer dollars to help support increased teacher pay.”

“We’ve appreciated that support and it’s really made an impact on the number of applicants we’ve had,” he said. “So we’ve had a lot of highly qualified applicants coming for these positions and we’re very grateful for it.”

According to Dujanovic, this increase in teachers pay sums to roughly a $42,000 raise. This brings the average Utah teacher’s salary to roughly $59,600 per year.

“All of those numbers, it’s enough to make me want to sign up,” Debbie said.

How do I become a teacher in Utah?

According to HR Licensing specialist with the Jordan School District Brittany Bawer, the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) makes it easy to apply to become an educator. She said you can do it on the USBE website.

“You would just submit your transcripts, do a background check, and complete some course modules,” Bawer said. “They would authorize you to begin teaching in a classroom for up to three years while you complete the rest of the licensure requirement.”

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard on weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon.

We want to hear from you.

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

Education + Schools

Mother holding poster of son...

Lauren Steinbrecher, KSL-TV

Donation drive to be held in honor of murdered University of Utah football player Aaron Lowe

Aaron Lowe's mother and team are honoring his memory with a cause close to Aaron Lowe's heart, involving and benefitting the community.

2 hours ago

FILE - New graduates line up before the start of a community college commencement in East Rutherfor...

Mark Jones

With student loan payments starting up, financial advisor offers tips

With the arrival of October, student loan payments will now resume.

11 hours ago


Curt Gresseth

Full-day kindergarten is here in Utah, but should it replace child care?

Full-day kindergarten is now an option for Utah parents. But should it replace child care as federal funding supporting it ends?

13 hours ago

NEW YORK (AP) — The owner of a New York City day care center and a tenant living in the building ...

Mark Jones

Grantsville High School went into lockdown Monday, situation secured

A heavy police presence was reported early Monday evening at Grantsville High School. Few details were provided about the situation.

14 hours ago

A brain on a white background....

Amanda Dickson

Why our brains are getting smaller

Over the last 3,000 years, our brains have gotten smaller. They've shrunk about the size of a lime since then.

18 hours ago

Students walk through campus at Utah Valley University in Orem. Student Loan payments resume in Oct...

Derrick Jones

Student loan repayments set to resume: what you need to know

The restart of student loan payments looms after a pause in March 2020, these payments are set to resume in October.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Human hand holding a protest banner stop vaping message over a crowded street background....

Prosperous Utah Communities

Utah’s Battle to Protect Youth from Vaping Epidemic Faces New Threat as Proposed Rule Threatens Progress

Utah's strict standards of nicotine levels in vaping products are at risk, increasing health hazards associated with use. Read more about how you can advocate for a better future for Utah's youth.

Aerial photo of Bear Lake shoreline with canopies and people camped out on the beach...

Visit Bear Lake

Last-Minute Summer Vacation Planning? Check Out Bear Lake!

Bear Lake is the perfect getaway if you are last-minute summer vacation planning. Enjoy activities with your whole family at this iconic lake.

close up of rose marvel saliva blooms in purple...

Shannon Cavalero

Drought Tolerant Perennials for Utah

The best drought tolerant plants for Utah can handle high elevations, alkaline soils, excessive exposure to wind, and use of secondary water.

What’s the lure for new teachers in Utah?