PROVO — Budget gurus in Utah County's three school districts were thrilled — but not overly surprised — to hear that Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. on Wednesday signed HB1.

The bill makes sure teachers will receive a full $2,500 salary increase and $1,000 bonus as was allocated last year.

"We are pleased," said Kerry Smith, Provo District business administrator.

The Legislature approved these increases in 2007 but didn't allocate all the funding at that time due to numbers glitches. Legislators had said allocating the remaining funding would be a top priority for the 2008 legislative session.

"That was the expectation," said Tracy Olsen, Nebo District business administrator.

Rob Smith, Alpine District business administrator, said that many educators in Alpine district have been keeping a close eye on the issue.

"Anybody in the education profession would have been concerned," Smith said. "There was a general feeling of concern."

The three Utah County school districts handled last year's partial funding differently.

Alpine found a way to pay the full $2,500, as well as the one-time $1,000 bonus.

Provo's business administrator said his district chose to allocate what the state had given it and told teachers if more funding came from the Legislature, the district would pass it along.

"We're not in the habit of giving out funds we don't have," Kerry Smith said.

Provo gave its teachers $1,938 of the potential $2,500 and $967 of the $1,000 bonus, Kerry Smith said.

In Nebo, the administration offered teachers the option of receiving the full $2,500 — but with the caveat that if the Legislature didn't come through with the remaining funding, the difference would come out of salary negotiations in the 2008-09 school year.

Nebo teachers opted to play it safe, Olsen said. "They weren't willing to gamble the Legislature would actually fund it during this session," he said.

Therefore, Nebo district allocated $1,938 for teacher raises and $976 for bonuses.


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