Comments about ‘Gov. Gary Herbert wants classroom technology funded, teacher salaries boosted’

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Published: Monday, Dec. 12 2011 6:00 p.m. MST

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Roosevelt, UT

You can educate students in a tent if the teacher is well prepared. I would love to see the teachers paid more, but instead of a 1% increase the increase should be 5%.

Lots of oil royalties could come to the state and if they did any development on the shale in eastern Utah the royalties could exponentially increase.

There are additional income streams available if the good governor will look.

safety dictates, ID

It will be very interesting to see how the Utah Legislators handle this. I have a suspicion that this body is dominated by real estate salespersons and multilevel marketers. These people can make more money from their relatives and friends working part time than a 4th grade teacher can working 50+ hours per week. And which profession has the time and PAC money to dominate the government?

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

Now the Governor will be ostracized by the state legislature.
Goodbye Gary, Utah's elected officials are trying at every turn to destroy public education so they, and there friends can profit from private school projects.

South Jordan, UT

A raise is appropriate, but there will never be enough. The first comment this morning proves it. Why not a 5% raise?

The Districts need to boost the pay of the beginning teacher. The first four years the pay for a new teacher is very low, then it jumps up after that, leaving the impression that teachers salaries are low. The salary for experienced teachers is desirable. Most workers would love to have a teachers schedule,salary and benefits.

It is extremely difficult to become a teacher. You must have a high GPA, and be accepted into the program. Other college programs cannot afford to screen the applicants so well. That is very telling about how desirable it is to be an educator.

We have the lowest WPU only because we have more than one funding source for education. There are at least 13 sources of funding, but only one source in Utah is labeled the WPU. Other States count all dollars in Education as the WPU. Therefore Utah will always have the lowest WPU.

Until there is transparency in the way schools spend tax dollars, we will have issues.

Ball Boy
Payson, UT

YAHOOOOOO! Now instead of making $30,000 a year I am going to be bumped up to $30,300!!!!

"Honey we can now get that new vacuum that you want!"

Still Blue after all these years
Kaysville, UT

I have no problem paying good teachers what they are worth (and the market should determine that), but I hate to pay for an inept education system. and that is all we really ever do.

Mcallen, TX

Ball Boy,

You may hit a higher tax bracket, and come up with less. It's time these millionaire teachers pay a little more, or their fair share.

Bountiful, UT

It would be really nice to see other state employees recognized as valuable. Besides going many years without raises - even COLA - the legislature then even took away the last remaining perk - the 4/10 work week for state employees. It was taken away even from segments that did not require workers to be on the job 5 days - even those who had worked flexible schedules before the adoption of the 4 day week. In tough budget times it is necessary to be creative and to reinforce good workers in order to keep them. I think teachers are worth paying for but so are we as state public health nurses and other workers. The short-sighted revolving door policy the legislature has adopted is already beginning to slam us in the face as the best seek employment where they are appreciated, given the license to do their jobs as managers and are compensated fairly. As the economy improves, more and more good employees will leave the public sector. Let's hope we will actually have a private sector when all is said and done. If you don't recognize the value of good state employees, try doing without them.

Colorado Springs, CO

Seriously. Worf? Stick to the topic.

Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: RN4moms | 8:38 a.m. Dec. 13, 2011
"In tough budget times it is necessary ..... to reinforce good workers in order to keep them"

No, you have it backwards. In tough budget times good workers need to be thankful that they even have a job. And no, with Obama in the White House our economy is not going to improve. Business insiders almost all agree it is going to get worse. Be thankful if the State of Utah is paying your salary.

Ms Molli
Bountiful, Utah

Almost everyone I know has received an effective reduction in pay over the last several years with their bonuses being cut, their benefits being cut, they are working longer hours with no additional pay, etc. I don't see why teachers should receive a pay increase right now -- compared to many others they have already received one since their pay hasn't been cut.

On the other hand
Spanish Fork, UT

How kind of the governor to find some additional funding for education in an election year.

The Big One
Salt Lake City, UT

i think most teachers get what they deserve plus you can add about 30,000 a year with bennies and retirement. It's a part time job and we are in a recession with 1000's not even employed.
The school system is broke and throwing money at it is not the answer, it needs to be completely overhauled

Orem Parent
Orem, UT

Molli pull your head out of the clouds. Learn before you post.

Teachers took a big pay cut. More than most that still have jobs. They were cut 8 days of pay. That doesn't even start to talk about their benefits that no longer exist. The whole retirement program was demolished by the legislature.

slc, ut

@ The Big One, You sound like Howard Stephenson? What are the chances of that happening?

Ms Molli
Bountiful, Utah

Orem Parent | 9:18 a.m. Dec. 13, 2011
Teachers took a big pay cut. More than most that still have jobs. They were cut 8 days of pay. That doesn't even start to talk about their benefits that no longer exist. The whole retirement program was demolished by the legislature.

@Orem Parent, 8 days of pay is a "big pay cut"? Perhaps you should educate yourself about the complete lack of retirement program that most workers in this country receive, the additional hours most workers are working for no additional pay (well beyond 8 days a year), the benefit cuts most workers in this country have received. There is no reason teachers should be treated differently. Cut their retirement and make them like most workers -- that would at least equalize the playing field.

The Utah Republican
Alpine, UT

Politicians like to demonize their opponents. It's one of the reasons I hate to vote. Many of the choices aren't ideal.

The base salary for beginning teachers in the Jordan District is 32,889. Dividing that number by 184 (contract days) and 8 (hours in a work day) puts their hourly rate at something like 22.34. That's not a bad wage, but it's important to remember that teachers work more than 8 hours a day. They're only paid for 8.

One percent of 22.34 is 22 cents an hour. And it's the first time teachers have had a raise in several years. They've been losing to inflation all those years - about 7% in the last 3 years. The 1% increase is nice, but it leaves teachers 6% lower in actual buying power than they were four years ago. That's what the Democrats are complaining about.

What the Democrats are missing is that Utah's budget is now in the black because we are a thrifty people. Utah didn't have to lay off as many teachers because we didn't have a budget crisis. Utah didn't have massive political strife like some other states because the majority of our legislators understand how important education is to our future and to the economy, AND because teachers understand that there are limits to reasonable taxation.

So, kudos to the teachers for working through the lean years, and kudos to our state government for their fiscal responsibility. And Democrats, we love you, but we'd rather have long term stability than political strife.

Lehi, UT

Ms. Molli, my teacher wife's salary has been cut for four years straight. What on earth are you talking about? Not only have salaries been cut: Entire programs have been cut, class sizes have been increased, benefits have been cut. The entire retirement pension system was restructured so that all new teachers will now have to fund their own retirements. The state changed from a defined benefit plan to a defined contribution plan.

Anyone who says that teachers have not taken a cut is lying. Education has been cut, cut, and cut again.

Bountiful, Utah

@ The Utah Republican,"They've been losing to inflation all those years - about 7% in the last 3 years. The 1% increase is nice, but it leaves teachers 6% lower in actual buying power than they were four years ago. That's what the Democrats are complaining about."

The inflation rate you mention is Utah's inflation rate or national numbers? I'm doubting Utah has had inflation rates anywhere near 7% in the last 3 years.

Colorado Springs, CO

@Winglish: However, most everyone else is also responsible for their own retirement. I'm not sure how the Utah PERA is structured, but I know my teacher brother is going to get 60 percent of his highest salary for the rest of his life when he retires, this on top of money he himself is putting away. His pension alone will net him around $45,000 a year, after he retires, for the rest of his life. Not a bad salary for small-town Utah. My question is: Is this pension paid for by the taxpayers, or does this come from contributions from the employees? I truly don't know and would like to know how PERA works, because it seems like a pretty good gig.

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