Schoolteachers can keep scaling their career ladders. A Senate committee killed a controversial bill Tuesday that would have let school districts convert the $34 million in career ladder money to teacher pay increases - something strongly opposed by teachers.

The original bill, sponsored by Sen. Chuck Peterson, R-Provo, had proposed that the money for the career ladder program, which gives teachers extra pay for added preparation days, extra work and education expansion opportunities, be pumped directly into the weighted pupil unit, the basic, statewide lump sum given directly to each school district.Peterson said the districts, under his bill, could use the money to finance a career ladder program, increase teacher salary and benefits, reduce class size or extend the teaching contract year.

The bill also proposed increasing the minimum number of school days from 181 to 187.

Peterson argued that his proposal would give a more accurate picture of actual teacher salaries. The Utah Education Association ignores career ladder money when reporting teacher salaries, he said. The senator said if career ladder money, which averages an extra $1,825.28 per teacher statewide, were added to salary statistics, Utah would be 39th nationally in teacher salaries, not 48th.