Teachers should get a pay increase from Utah's tax surplus, the Utah Education Association says.
The association called on legislators to provide $20 million to school districts to support salary increases. Some teachers have not had raises for two years, said UEA President Jim Campbell.The 1988-89 appropriation for education didn't provide districts money for salary increases, he said. Meanwhile, inflation ate into teachers' buying power by 6.1 percent, according to Consumer Price Index figures.
However, Gov. Norm Bangerter has already told educators that none of the surplus would be specified for teacher salary increases. He has expressed support, however, for money to make up the shortfall on educational programs for the current year (ducators have proposed $2 million to $3 million) and a conditional appropriation that would add $4 million to funding for textbooks.
Legislators promised educators that the $4 million would be earmarked for textbooks if the surplus exceeded $50 million.
Campbell suggested the legislature consider a "rainy day" fund to make up for funding deficits of the past few years.