Utah school personnel could get a 3 percent raise after all. Members of the Joint Public Education Appropriations Committee ignored Gov. Norm Bangerter's proposed 3 percent cap on an increase in the weighted pupil unit and voted to make the increase 4.2 percent.

provides funding for salaries for teachers and other personnel as well as operating and maintenance costs. The 4.2 percent increase would bring the WPU from $1,204 per child to approximately $1,255 - still the lowest in the country.The WPU is the basic amount the state pays per-child for education and The governor's proposed 3 percent increase would have allowed for a raise of only 1 to 1.5 percent after regular lane changes and other increased expenses were paid.

Committee members, obviously anticipating that the news about state finances, due next week, will be better than expected, said the extra increase is a good-faith showing for education, which has operated under stressed budgets for several years.

"Even though we need to hold the line, we also need to send an overwhelming message to the executive appropriations committee that public education and teachers' salaries demand a greater priority," said Rep. Richard Bradford, R-Sandy.