The North Summit Education Association will receive Utah Education Association support in its bid to be paid for an additional three weeks that have been added to the 1991-92 school year calendar.
The UEA House of Delegates voted Saturday during a regular meeting at Highland High School, without an audible dissenting vote, to pledge any form of support that North Summit teachers request.North Summit Education President Vicki Edgel, a first-grade teacher at North Summit Elementary in Coalville, said the North Summit School Board recently voted 3-2 to add three weeks to the school calendar. She said the School Board does not have a plan for funding the additional days.
She quoted one board member as saying that teachers would be "happy to come back - for nothing." That statement stirred laughter and sounds of surprise from delegates.
In urging support for the 45 North Summit teachers, a Jordan District educator said delegates could each "be fighting similar battles."
In an interview, Edgel said one North Summit School Board member who owns his own company "does not intend to pay" the teachers. She said that when the board member was asked if he would expect his own employees to work three additional weeks without pay, he responded that if employees valued their jobs, they would be willing to do so.
Edgel said another member, new to the School Board, told the teachers' association he supports the additional time and wants to find the money to pay for it. She said the board member said he does not understand education funding but would be willing to pay for as much of the time as possible.
The delegates, representing the UEA's 16,400 members, voted to write a letter of protest to the School Board and to offer any needed teacher support.
Arlin Judd, Coalville, board president, told the Deseret News Monday that the board had voted to extend the school calendar by 12 days.
"We have not determined what method to use to fund that, but the superintendent and staff are looking at funding options. We are not sure exactly how much funding is available, but we do have some. We are not sure where we (would) take it from and how much we would use to fund it," Judd said.
Judd did not give the name of the board member to whom Edgel referred, but he said the board member is "one of a five-member board. His opinion doesn't necessarily reflect (the opinions) of all of the board, just like mine doesn't," Judd said.
Board member Michael W. Olsen, Hoytsville, said he "doesn't recall anybody saying they thought the teachers should work for nothing. I didn't make the statement, and I don't believe anybody did. It was an open meeting and a lot of views were expressed by individual teachers and board members. I feel extending the school year is an important step forward and should be valued."