The fact that some school districts and charter schools didn't apply for free state funding has Sen. Howard A. Stephenson, R-Draper, upset.
"It seems to me to be a callous attitude," said Stephenson, during a meeting of the Education Interim Committee on Thursday.
The senator's remarks followed a report on one-time performance-based compensation plans from Utah's districts and charter schools. The plans are to distribute legislative funding depending on how well an educator is doing his or her job. The Legislature earmarked $20 million last spring in one-time funding for the compensation plans.
The money will be doled out according to a district's or charter school's enrollment. State deputy superintendent Larry Shumway defended the three school districts and over a dozen charter schools that didn't submit plans, saying it's not as if they simply didn't care. They had varying reasons for their actions, he said.Officials with school districts and charter schools who didn't apply for the funding told the Deseret News last month their reasoning included the short time frame and lack of staffing to write the plan. Further, smaller districts with few students wouldn't receive much funding, they said. If every district and charter school statewide received the funding, it would equal $36.34 per pupil, according to Shumway. The districts were to have their plans to the State Board of Education by July 1.