When asked what issues were of most importance to the UEA, Gallagher-Fishbaugh said she hoped lawmakers would adequately address funding for education, particularly a renewed investment in professional development and educational resources for teachers.
She also said the UEA is hoping for at least a cost of living increase for teacher salaries, something Utah's educators have gone without for the last four years.
"Our sense is that folks want teachers to be given a fair shake," she said. "I think many in the Legislature are recognizing that we have a serious funding issue in education."
Liz Zentner, president-elect of the Utah Parent Teacher Association, also said that she's optimistic for the upcoming Legislative session. She said that in recent years she's noticed a definite increase in the level of interest of state lawmakers to improve education, and their willingness to collaborate and be open to input and dialogue.
"I don't worry," she said. "I trust that our legislators are going to do what's best for our children, because they all want to."
As part of the Deseret News' coverage of the Legislature, we're taking an in-depth look at each of the five issues during the coming week.
Monday: Early childhood education
Tuesday: College and career readiness
Wednesday: Economic development
Thursday: Health care
Friday: Intergenerational poverty
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