Utah student teachers work a full semester without pay. Now they might be getting a stipend.

Jan 25, 2024, 4:11 PM | Updated: Jan 26, 2024, 11:21 am

HB221 Stipends for Future Educators offers money for full-time students to use during their semeste...

HB221 Stipends for Future Educators offers money for full-time students to use during their semester of student teaching.(Jeffrey D. Allred /Deseret News)

(Jeffrey D. Allred /Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY– State Representative Karen Peterson, is proposing a bill that would reward stipends to student teachers in their first full teaching semester.

Under her bill, H.B. 221, Peterson says student teachers would be able to apply for $6,000 to support them while doing classroom training.

“Student teachers in Utah are doing it without any pay,” Peterson told KSL NewsRadio on Thursday.

“So [student teachers] are paying their tuition and they’re paying the cost that they have of just living their lives. And they’re not really able to work during that semester, because it’s a full-time experience to student teaching for that last semester before they graduate.”

Peterson said the real issue she’s getting at is rising turnover rates. Teacher retention is dropping nationwide, with one statistic showing that 42% of Utah teachers quit before working five years on the job. At the national level, that number is 44%.

“We’ve got to find out ways to have stronger induction programs so [teachers] get off on the right foot to begin with.”


The audio above was from a KSL NewsRadio In-Depth on Jan. 25, 2024.

Weber State University education student Chandler Allen agrees, saying, “the inability to financially provide either for themselves or for their families has left many student teachers feeling helpless, anxious and overwhelmed.”

According to exit surveys of teachers by Envision Utah, two top reasons of teacher departure are burnout and compensation.

According to a press release from Rep. Peterson’s office, her bill has the support of Deans of Education from Utah State University, Weber State University, Utah Valley University, Utah Tech University, the University of Utah and Westminster.

Utah Tech University Dean of Education Debra Sabey said, “this bill would be a very beneficial way to assist students.”

She adds in Peterson’s release that “The final semester of student teaching is a critical piece of their preparation to become a teacher. They have a dedicated master teacher to coach and support them as they put all they have learned into practice. It requires teacher candidates to, in essence, be a full-time teacher for about 12 weeks, without pay.”

The classroom management experience could be even more important considering 41% of the state’s teachers do not have a degree in education. Envision Utah Vice President Jared Brown said this is not a sign of poor performance, but there is a correlation between those without an education degree and those who leave the profession.

Peterson’s bill is scheduled for a vote in the House Education Committee at 2 p.m. this afternoon.

What does it take to become a teacher in Utah?

To become a teacher in Utah, Teach Utah lists the following requirements:

  • “Hold a bachelor’s degree (or higher) from an accredited institution.”
  • Complete the application form and pay the $75 application fee.”
  • Provide original official copies of all college/university transcript.
  • Successfully complete a state-approved teacher preparation program.”
  • Successfully complete all required Praxis II exams.
  • Verify they have applied for a background check.”

Simone Seikaly contributed to this story.

We want to hear from you.

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

Education + Schools

A group of Weber State University students, faculty, and community members pose with the school's f...

Mariah Maynes

Weber State outdoor group conquers climb to Mount Everest base camp

According to Weber State University, a group of 16 students, faculty, and community members climbed to Mount Everest's base camp.

21 hours ago

People walk through the University of Utah campus in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, March 13, 2024....

Heather Peterson

University of Utah offers new continuing education courses

The University of Utah is trying to "close the skills gap" by offering continuing education courses for busy professionals.

1 day ago

A team of BYU scientists, educators and creatives developed updated water cycle resources for teach...

Cassidy Wixom,

US Geological Survey adopts BYU-made water cycle curriculum to be taught nationwide

BYU plant and wildlife science professor Ben Abbott discovered that only 15% of water cycle diagrams mentioned human impact.

1 day ago

Alpine School District's proposed split has been blocked from the November ballot....

Heather Peterson

Alpine School District’s proposed split has been blocked from the November ballot

A bill has been passed that prevents local school board from initiating a process to split the Alpine School District's proposal

3 days ago

Outside of Bonneville High School...

Heather Peterson

Bonneville High School opens new teen center to help students in crisis

Bonneville's new teen center has a kitchen, laundry, a shower, and a food pantry as well as a living room area, and study rooms.

6 days ago

A small group gathered outside the committee room to protest agains HB261 prior to Senate members o...

Josuee Sanchez

Complaint hotline for DEI law already receiving false complaints

The DEI law hotline has received 27 false complaints in the last week, but that's far less than a hotline associated with a bathroom bill received.

7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...


Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Utah student teachers work a full semester without pay. Now they might be getting a stipend.