A measure aimed at giving paraeducators a boost towards a teaching degree got a nod from the House Monday.

HB66, sponsored by Rep. Ronda Rudd Menlove, R-Garland, provides scholarships of up to $10,000 to paraeducators employed by school districts and charter schools who are pursuing an associate's degree or bachelor's degree to become a licensed teacher.

Menlove said this is the one piece missing since there is already scholarship programs available to those in their last two years of a teaching degree and "this would be the final piece of the puzzle."

Currently there are between 8,000 and 9,000 paraeducators in Utah and the $1 million appropriated under the measure would only accommodate a fraction of those.

"It would begin modestly so we can see the impact of it," Menlove said.

There are no payback requirements but paraeducators who receive the scholarships are required to continue working while they are attending school. The idea is, since the paraeducators are already working in the schools that once they get their teaching license they will come back to the classrooms as certified teachers.