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Gov. Gary Herbert wants classroom technology funded, teacher salaries boosted

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  • sportsfan21 OREM, UT
    Dec. 16, 2011 11:26 a.m.

    Worf, it's in the low 30's.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Dec. 15, 2011 11:28 p.m.

    Here in southern Texas, teachers starting pay is around forty thousand. Out of curiosity, what is Utah's starting pay?

  • I know you Cedar City, utah
    Dec. 14, 2011 10:16 a.m.

    xscribe

    How much is that Ph.D worth in Colorado? I'm sure that the husband and wife teaching duo you are referring to would trade salaries with you anytime. My guess is that each of these individuals probably have an education well beyond a masters and more than likely at the end of their careers. This combination would not be a true representation of most teachers in our state. Now, is there a website I can look at that would compare a Ph.D at your college with those here at SUU?

  • xscribe Colorado Springs, CO
    Dec. 13, 2011 7:37 p.m.

    Mark T.: Without divulging too much information, they are neither principals, nor do they have a Ph.D., but I'm not sure how long they have been teachers. However, it's my understanding that there is a website, or at least there used to be, that posts all the state employees' salaries. And they live just to the south of you.

  • md Cache, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 5:54 p.m.

    @CHS 85
    I don't have a huge family. I don't get big exemptions for having my family. I get taxed at a rate that is criminal. How about a flat tax with NO exemptions? That sounds like the only fair way to tax Americans. I am independent and don't subscribe either political party to tell me how to think.

    Tort reform. Fine the lawyers for filing crazy lawsuits.

    Insurance overhaul. Make them cover reasonable medical care.

    Educate the children in the US to compete with foreign countries. Reward excellent teachers.

    Kick the incumbents out of office after two 4 year terms, without benefits. Return STATESMEN to serve in the government.

    Tax IHC.

    Get rid of political correctness and call illegal, illegal. Strengthen our borders.

    Bring our military home.

    Stop bailing out other countries and invest in our own.

    Weed the freeloaders off of the welfare rolls.

    Enough ideas for ya?

  • cvguy Lehi, Utah
    Dec. 13, 2011 5:32 p.m.

    re: Trueman

    Just so you know teachers get zero paid holidays, zero paid vacation days, it is closer to two months (also unpaid) and teachers can get fired if administration does their job. If you want to post that is great, but actual facts that are accurate are nice too.

    If you would like to teach, feel free to go to college, graduate, go through a teacher prep program and you can apply.

  • deserthound Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 5:29 p.m.

    And I can hear Dougall already. "Pay teachers more money? What kind of a socialist plot is that? They already make plenty and only work 75% of the year for it. Look at me, I'm really smart and my teachers were just fine while they were they were dining on Top Ramen."

    I'm sure this will go over like a lead balloon during the session.

  • SLC BYU Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 5:28 p.m.

    I would love to see a pay raise for teachers, something Governors Jon Huntsman and Michael Leavitt proposed as well. All great intentions but the infamous UEA will find a way to sabotage this process pushing it to the district level where the funding gets pigeon-holed into some other fund or to pay the salary of yet another administrator. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker had the right idea about outlawing collective bargaining in public education since it has screwed it up royally throughout Utah and the U.S. The only good union is one that's been busted!

  • Ok Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 13, 2011 5:04 p.m.

    Teachers are paid far too much as it is. All Gov Herbert wants is their vote in the next election.

  • Trueman Draper, Utah
    Dec. 13, 2011 4:30 p.m.

    To all you self-righteous teachers who are complaining about your salary. You don't become a firefighter or police officer for the money. So what's your excuse? Did you become a teacher for the money or for the love of the job?

    If you want more money, be prepared to work all year 10 hours a day and risk all you own with the bank, and after paying your taxes, you may become a successful businessman or women. There is a choice, or you can just be happy with your current teaching job, three months off each year, 10 paid holidays, several weeks paid vacation and health care and retirement account and assured to never be fired no matter how bad you perform.

    Wow, where do I sign up.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 4:05 p.m.

    @md

    How about those with the large families stop getting HUGE tax exemptions every year? Shouldn't people be paying their own way? Isn't that the conservative mantra?

  • md Cache, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 3:34 p.m.

    Dump the illegals. Tax IHC. Then you will have more than enough money to pay for our children's education.

    Also, demand merit based pay for our teachers. They work 9 months a year. They have better benefits than most people. Pay the good ones more- show the bad ones the door.

  • GiuseppeG Murray, Utah
    Dec. 13, 2011 3:16 p.m.

    Gee whiz, such vitriol over the proposition of taking an expected budget surplus and giving our kids' teachers' a little raise. I'm Republican and I'm all for it as long as it's not all going to Kyle Whittingham's raise (I like Kyle but am hoping his salary is getting funded from some boosters or the revenue he brings in or something and not my tax dollars). I don't feel the need to excoriate the profession or get bent about a raise for the teachers just because I'm not a fan of UEA or bad teachers or stupid mandated curriculum. Lighten up a bit fellow Repubs.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Dec. 13, 2011 3:11 p.m.

    Wow! Is this the unity Obama was going to bring America?

    High unemployment and debt is the result of corrupt government. Period.

    No reason for anyone taking cuts in wage and benefits. We need to unite in changing our leaders. Petitions against standardized testing would be a great start for ending wasteful spending. Does anyone see any educational benefits from these tests?

    Modify foreign aid. Why see 28,000 postal workers lose their jobs to save 2.1 billion dollars, while sending much more than that to other countries who hates us.

    Let's get the Canadian oil line going. Lower fuel prices and tens of thousands of jobs, with less dependence on the middle east. Great. Our commander has vetoed that. Let's get someone who'll work for us.

    As a country, we're lying down and taking a beating.

  • realsoothsayer SANDY, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 2:57 p.m.

    This article should have been entitled, "Herbert wants to stay in office, and knows that an army of 'educators' can help him do it." Gary be just playin' the politician role, and buying more votes with taxpayer funds. He knows that public schooling is more sacrosanct than either motherhood or apple pie, so he'll sell to that audience. And, he'll conveniently ignore the issue of the fat-cat "administrators," who draw six-figure-plus salaries for wandering around and brown-nosing all day. And you too can ignore it if you want, but you better ante up all day long, and keep paying for this system of public babysitting, where there's no structure, little discipline, and very little production. The young, starting teachers should be the ones we feel sorry for, because the system uses them to the benefit of everyone else.

  • Mark T. Monroe, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 2:29 p.m.

    @ xscribe

    For them to both be making 60,000 they would both have to be a principal or close to that level. In Sevier School District you top out at 60,000 if you have a PHD and 28 years experience as a teacher.

  • Winglish Lehi, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 2:27 p.m.

    @xscribe- Yes, your brother has a very nice retirement. New teachers do not get the same deal. The retirement system was completely restructured to a defined contribution system for all new teachers hired in Utah from 2011 on. The older teachers did get to keep the retirement system they were counting on when they chose the profession.

    To say that the teaching profession has not suffered cuts like everyone else is just outright lying. I know the schools in my district have let teachers go every year for the past three years. The number of students has increased at the same time, leaving classes bursting at the seams. Salaries have been cut. Insurance and retirement benefits have been cut.

    The system can only be cut so much. There simply must be incentives built into the teaching profession to attract new job candidates. I wholeheartedly support doubling all of the property taxes in all of our areas. We should all pay for education because we all benefit from a well-educated society.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 13, 2011 1:15 p.m.

    Rifleman,

    Just so I am clear, President Bush and the republican congress fully funded the Afghanistan and Iraq wars the Wall Street Bailout and the Prescription Drug Plan? If we want to talk about the state republicans, their supposed "fiscal" responsibility is less about not burdening their grandchildren, and more about the contempt they have for public education and educators in the state of Utah. Look at the perks they have in place for themselves in the way of insurance and retirement plans. Look at the legislation they pass that provides personal benefit to their business interest.

    A one percent raise on a teacher salary doesn't even offset what will probably be the increase cost for health insurance this next year, but it is at least a gesture to say that the increase in class size and the previous pay cuts have been recognized and we want to help as much as we can.

  • xscribe Colorado Springs, CO
    Dec. 13, 2011 1:07 p.m.

    Thanks, Utah Teacher, for the explanation. And as I understand PERA, you get around 60 percent of your highest salary - unless that has changed through the restructure - which means my estimate of $45,000 a year is going to be close, maybe more like $40,000. Yes, he's earning in the mid-$60,000 range right now, and so is his wife - also a teacher - so times that $40,000-$45,000 by two, and they've got it made.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 1:02 p.m.

    Rifleman said:
    What we unsophisticated Republicans understand the concept of interest.

    Yes, we know, "interest" in destroying public education, by any means, including de-funding education in Utah to the point it fails.
    Pretty soon only the dreggs will come work for a State, who acts like the teaching profession is little more then public assistance for the lazy.

    Conservative only understand money, A generation of kids can be uneducated as long as Utah can still balance it's books. How you gunna repay them?

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 13, 2011 12:04 p.m.

    Re: williary | 11:45 a.m. Dec. 13, 2011
    "Do you Republicans understand ... employees ... only decreases?"

    What we unsophisticated Republicans understand the concept of interest. Unlike California we aren't flushing billions of dollars down the drain in interest on out of control spending of money we don't have.

    Liberals understand debt. It is something they expect your grandchildren to repay.

  • CB Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 11:56 a.m.

    A raise is great, but when my husband's business hit a rough section in the road, he had to take a cut in pay. Seems that in this economy with everyone hurting, we should be seeing how much of the 'dead wood' in the educational morass can be cleared away and what is saved from that given to the teachers, before the taxes which should be in line with the economy are taken from one and given to the other.

  • ksampow Farr West, Utah
    Dec. 13, 2011 11:47 a.m.

    Ms Molli: 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.

    ----

    Teachers have suffered the same cuts - health benefits have been cut, retirement benefits have been cut, "career ladder" funding has been eliminated, and class size reduction funding has been abandoned - thus increasing teacher workloads.

  • williary Kearns, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 11:45 a.m.

    For a state full of constituents who are so concerned/paranoid/skeptical about how each of their tax dollars are being spent, I find it amusing that those same constituents continually call for cuts to government employees salaries and benefits, which continue to fall well below the combined salary/benefit of comparable private sector jobs.

    Do you Republicans understand all that does is ensure the quality of employees using your tax dollars only decreases with each passing session of the Legislature?

    In tough economic times, you can try to use the pitch of "Job Security" as your only selling point. With the hyperbole to square things up later. As things improve, your only selling point goes away.

    1% increase? And that follows the study requested by the Legislature that reported two weeks ago that state employees combined salary/benefits are at least 13% behind private sector.

    As the economy continues to improve, all this thinking guarantees is that our tax dollars will be spent much more inefficiently.

  • ksampow Farr West, Utah
    Dec. 13, 2011 11:40 a.m.

    Governor Herbert should have proposed a larger salary increase. The legislature always gives less to teachers than what the governor proposes. Setting 1% as the starting point for budget deliberations does not show that the governor really wants to make teacher salaries a priority.

  • screenname Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 11:37 a.m.

    ClarkKent,

    I would guess that the 7% is aggregate over 3 years, not 7% in one year. In good times, inflation is around 3% per year, so 7% during 3 years of a recession is definitely possible.

  • Mark T. Monroe, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 11:29 a.m.

    For those of you complaining about teachers salaries and saying they get paid good. Look at this. Child care is $2 per hour per kid. if you paid teachers $2 per hour per kid they would make around 70,000 per year. Now look at the teachers salaries and tell me they are getting paid fairly. Babysitters get paid better.

  • Uncle Rico Knows Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 11:21 a.m.

    One percent! That doesn't even cover cost of living increases. On top of that, it doesn't cover the mounting increases in insurance premiums. Thank you very much, from about 1% of my heart.

  • Joe Schmoe Orem, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 11:19 a.m.

    job,

    There is no such thing as a teachers union in Utah thus there is nothing to get rid of. Nice try with the rhetoric though. You are doing a fine job spouting off the party line.

  • Utah Teacher Orem, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 11:13 a.m.

    xscribe,

    That system no longer exists. The legislature did away with it for anyone hired in 2011 and beyond. The old system that your brother was a part of was funded by the taxpayers as is everything in education. The teachers agreed to lower salaries because they knew that the rest of the money that should be going to them was being invested in a retirement program.

    The problem is the legislature did away with the retirement program but didn't add any more money to the salaries.

    In order for your brother to be getting $45,000 a year in retirement on the old system, he would have had to be earning $75,000 a year as a teacher which doesn't happen in Utah, especially small-town Utah. Also he won't get all of the money unless he agrees that he gets it all and his spouse gets nothing when he dies. A very tough choice that shouldn't have to be made by anybody.

    By the way my brother works for Boeing and is going to get a much sweeter retirement package than anything a teacher will ever come close to.

  • justaguy Out There in, WI
    Dec. 13, 2011 11:03 a.m.

    @NeilT

    The Big One and all the others who say teachers don't work full time are thinking that working 9 months of the year makes it so. As you recognize, that is laughable. Many teachers use those 3 months to supplement their income. And don't even get me started on the brainless ones that claim teachers work 9 months but get paid for 12. They only get paid for 9 but choose to spread the payments over 12. It is very clear that many of those posting here do not believe in fair compensation for value provided. Teachers would be getting paid much better than a lot of provessions if that were the case. The pay disparity between wall street bankers and teachers would be reversed if that were the case. The real solution would be to change the way public eduction is funded, so its not tied so directly to property taxes. That paradigm clouds the thinking of a lot of people on this whole issue. It makes them say crazy things.

  • job Provo, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 11:02 a.m.

    Get rid of the communist teachers union first. An organization funded by tax money should not be able to endorse either political party.

  • Springvillepoet Springville, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 10:54 a.m.

    "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"

    I have to disagree with this. I have never gotten the sense Utah legislators have cared much at all for education. I see too many legislators demonizing teachers and the education process. I applaud their willingness to allow charter schools to create an alternative, but that is in itself quite problematic.

    As for the avoidance of a huge political meltdown, I'd say that has more to do with the fact that the number one political question in Utah isn't whether you are Democrat or Republican, but "how conservative of a republican are you?" It's difficult to have a real knockdown, drag out fight between people who are cut from the same political cloth.

  • Orem Parent Orem, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 10:36 a.m.

    Molli,

    Your whole argument was that teachers haven't received a pay cut. Look at the last line of your first post, "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."

    You obviously have no clue what you are talking about when it comes to teachers as several other posters have pointed out. You have some kind of axe to grind against teachers. That is fine. Just don't spout lies and claim they are truths.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 10:32 a.m.

    To The Big One Teaching is a part time job. You are joking right.

  • xscribe Colorado Springs, CO
    Dec. 13, 2011 10:28 a.m.

    @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.

  • ClarkKent Bountiful, Utah
    Dec. 13, 2011 10:09 a.m.

    @ 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.

  • Winglish Lehi, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 10:00 a.m.

    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.

  • The Utah Republican Alpine, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 9:41 a.m.

    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.

  • Ms Molli Bountiful, Utah
    Dec. 13, 2011 9:32 a.m.

    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.

  • stevo123 slc, ut
    Dec. 13, 2011 9:26 a.m.

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

  • Orem Parent Orem, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 9:18 a.m.

    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.

  • The Big One Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 9:04 a.m.

    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

  • On the other hand Spanish Fork, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 9:03 a.m.

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

  • Ms Molli Bountiful, Utah
    Dec. 13, 2011 8:53 a.m.

    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.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 13, 2011 8:49 a.m.

    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.

  • xscribe Colorado Springs, CO
    Dec. 13, 2011 8:44 a.m.

    Seriously. Worf? Stick to the topic.

  • RN4moms Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 8:38 a.m.

    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.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Dec. 13, 2011 8:37 a.m.

    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.

  • Still Blue after all these years Kaysville, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 8:20 a.m.

    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.

  • Ball Boy Payson, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 8:06 a.m.

    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!"

  • utahsshellgame South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 8:02 a.m.

    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.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 7:52 a.m.

    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.

  • FDRfan safety dictates, ID
    Dec. 13, 2011 7:51 a.m.

    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?

  • Doug10 Roosevelt, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 7:37 a.m.

    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.