Two bills that would affect teacher compensation were passed out favorably Monday by the House Education Committee.

HB206, sponsored by Rob Bishop, R-Brigham City, would allow school districts the option of dipping into career-ladder money to recompense teachers for attending college classes related to their work. The bill would encourage teachers to upgrade their education and would make the educational system consistent with private industry, which frequently pays employees to improve their working skills, he said.Kolene Granger, a spokeswoman for the state Office of Education, said the office supports the concept, but would not agree to an erosion of the career-ladder money that has been specified for rewarding teachers for exceptional performance. The career ladder has been viewed as the linchpin of reform in Utah.

HB281 also had a great deal of conceptual support, but the necessity of a fiscal note will almost certainly doom it this session. The bill would require that school districts give teachers wanting to change districts full credit for the time they have taught. At present, each district decides how much of the teacher's experience it will credit on its own pay scale.

"Teacher experience should be a factor in obtaining new jobs," said the sponsor, Rep. Joseph Hull, D-Weber. The present system makes teachers think they are not valued, he said.