A $6,200 teacher pay raise? Utah House GOP caucus raises prospect

Public has high expectations for public education, House Speaker Greg Hughes says

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  • ghansen188 MAYFIELD, UT
    Feb. 15, 2018 8:46 a.m.

    Wow, great slight of hand; counting money already appropriated as a raise. The $4200 has been a part of teacher salaries for years. Either the legislature is trying to deceive or the Deseret News has done shoddy research.

  • lynn Roosevelt, UT
    Feb. 13, 2018 10:15 a.m.

    Scheeze! I'm going to clean out my couch cushions tonight!

  • worf McAllen, TX
    Feb. 13, 2018 9:01 a.m.

    Does Finland spend more money on education or just manage better?

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Feb. 12, 2018 9:14 p.m.

    To answer your questions with some explanations:

    --Salary schedule: It should start at 50K with the steps and lanes it has now with cost of living increases adjusted for education.
    --Teaching isn't the only stressful job in America worf, but not sure what that has to do with anything. We have a teacher shortage in our state/nation, time to pony up.
    --School principals aren't paid enough, district probably are. But would any company pay somebody that manages billions of dollars, a large building and maybe over a 100 employees, let alone maybe 2000 students 100K. I bet that job description would call for a lot more. Pay teachers baby sitting wages per kid and see that the teacher/admin is a BARGAIN!
    --Our local HS has four principals for about 2000 students house in six different buildings. I would say NO, we don't have enough administrators.
    --Yes, things can be more efficient and done better.
    --Yes, education can be done better but it might take more investment, say like they do in Finland, in people (their teachers!). Cutting education isn't going to get better results, I promise you!

  • worf McAllen, TX
    Feb. 11, 2018 6:14 p.m.


    * how much of a school salary is enough for teachers?
    * is teaching school the only stressful job in our country?
    * are school administrators paid enough?
    * can schools function with half as many administrators being paid half of their current salaries?
    * can students be effectively taught without standardized testing?
    * can parents afford meals for their children?
    * can tax money be more efficiently managed?
    * why are automobile engines, transmissions, and suspensions designed by foreign engineers?

    Somehow, we're not getting a big bang out of every buck put into American education.

  • Caleb Joe Saratoga Springs, UT
    Feb. 9, 2018 4:59 p.m.

    As a teacher of many years, I know what it is like to keep my wife home taking care of five children while living on a teacher's salary. Those days at the end of the month waiting for the next pay check while living on pasta and peanut butter were not fun. The only thing that kept us in the profession were the benefits. We understood that the retirement at the end was solid and the medical insurance was top notch. When my small boy had an accident and needed to be helicoptered to Primary, all but $500.00 dollars was taken care of. That kind of insurance was on top of the salary. I now pay $530.00 per month for stripped down coverage. The legislature gutted the retirement for new teachers in 2011. They now work 35 years for a scaled back pension. The reasons for going into the profession have been removed and starting salaries still lag behind other jobs that require a college education. In the real world society honors hard work with increased pay and promotions. Teaching must be made into an honored profession or the time will soon come when there are no quality teachers!!!

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    Feb. 9, 2018 3:26 p.m.

    The headline is very misleading because the legislature is attempting to mislead the public with the language. The legislature is discussing a $2,000 pay raise that bypasses the WPU and is added to a couple direct pay raises of $4,200 that happened over ten years ago. They are simply tacking on the $2,000 to the decade old $4,200 spending authorization and calling it a $6,200 raise.

  • B Centerville, UT
    Feb. 9, 2018 2:57 p.m.

    As a native Utahn I can say that we are a peculiar people. We are also a cheap people. Realistically, teaching isn't going to be the highest paying career choice, but it ought to be a very lucrative career choice. We all agree that teachers are vital to any society, so why would we not pay them well? Yes, they do get summers off. But I guarantee you that they make up for that during the school year when they bring your kids assignments home to grade. There is much more to this than most people who aren't involved realize.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Feb. 9, 2018 1:47 p.m.

    "How do leaking pipes and bad class rooms get fixed by paying teachers more. A teacher should see the idiotic position that presents. We need to spend money on the infrastructure and not the teacher!!"

    Exactly right!

    Let's have great buildings.

    But no teachers.

    Got it . . .

  • Den Den West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 9, 2018 1:33 p.m.

    Reading the comments and this article is like saying a parent gives their love more to one of their children more than another.

    If an elementary teacher gets their education from an Ivy League school vs a state school, should they be paid more than the other?

    New teachers start out the same...reward teachers for their desire to teach, their longevity and ingenuity!

    Mckell Withers, Superintendent of Salt Lake School District gross compensation is $352, 708. There's a lot of $6,200 in that salary.

    That district is paying handsomely to attract top people. Let's make Utah an attractive place for really good teachers!

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    Feb. 9, 2018 12:46 p.m.


    Also, it is right to say that computer programming requires less education and certification than teaching. He's not saying education classes are harder than programming courses. However, formal education and certification is not even a requirement for computer programming, while it is for teaching. My brother-in-law is a programmer, makes really good money, but didn't graduate from college.

    I am a former teacher looking to transition to computer programming for several reasons (money being one, the state and politics of education in general being another). My brother-in-law actually advised me to not get a degree in programming, but rather to learn it in other ways.

    Also, I had friends who were majoring in engineering and/or programming. I envied their class/work loads, and I can tell you that they certainly didn't envy mine.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    Feb. 9, 2018 12:36 p.m.


    You are misinformed.

    I think you are trying to say that a starting teacher in Utah makes more than the national average for starting teachers. Well, that's hard to verify because 1) it's hard to pinpoint the national average, and 2) it depends on which district you are in. For example, starting teachers in Park City district are being paid $50,700 per year next year while new Jordan district teachers (in 2017) are getting paid $34,339 per year.

  • jeanie orem, UT
    Feb. 9, 2018 12:36 p.m.


    I think your comments are short sighted. Those degrees that are more rigorous are built on a foundation of previous and vital knowledge provided by educators.

    I would submit that school teachers are even more important than engineers and computer programmers. Without teacher's skills and efforts most people would not have the foundational knowledge needed to work in those "more important" professions.

    If anything teachers should be paid more. They set the foundation for all learning that follows, rigorous and otherwise.

  • Confused Sandy, UT
    Feb. 9, 2018 12:20 p.m.

    To answer your question... I Math Teacher who has a Mathematics Degree has taken more Calculus courses that a Computer Science Major.

    You would be surprised to see the number of Math Majors, who are programmers.....

  • Mom of Six Northern Utah, UT
    Feb. 9, 2018 11:41 a.m.


    I agree with your point, but teachers are working moms too! Believe me, as a working mom I totally get the exhaustive nature of life. I was the foolish teacher who wanted the world for my students and put in extra "FREE" time that made my salary laughable. My students excelled in language arts, often performing well above district and state standards. However, It cost me my sanity and took precious time away from my own children. Yes, every career does that, but most are compensated well for it. Parenting is one of those jobs that never go away. I too would come home exhausted and ready for a break. It is unfortunate that many of our students don't even come from two parent homes anymore. Teachers end up taking on a brunt of problems that should be solved by parents, this also wastes a lot of classroom time. Do we want teachers to teach or parent?

  • JakeShewmake St. George, UT
    Feb. 9, 2018 11:13 a.m.

    DNews, please change your headline immediately. Your explanation does not match the headline. This would only be a $2,000 raise and I can tell you teachers do not want the raise provided in this way. Legislators--you are not educators. You do not know how to spend the money well. That is why you need to give the money to the districts in the WPU. Stop playing games. Your earmarks don't work. Funny how you chide the feds for telling you how to govern because you know better at the state level, but you treat all local entities as fools. You are not smarter than the rest of us. Stop putting money on pet projects to make yourselves look good and give a real boost to the WPU. The worst bill you passed in recent years was to single out some teachers to get raises like you are considering for SPED teachers. I am an 18 year veteran SPED teacher with a masters degree in teaching writing and half way through a doctorate in educational leadership. I took certification classes 18 years ago and while teaching SPED classes in order to earn my certification but my undergraduate major was not SPED. So I would not qualify under the sped salary in crease bill. In what world does that make sense?

  • education first Sandy, UT
    Feb. 9, 2018 11:06 a.m.

    It is fun to use big numbers, but as was already pointed out, it is actually a $2,000 pay raise (still nice), not the $6,200 raise stated in the title of the article. Another poster also stated that the education budget is $16 billion; but that is actually the TOTAL state budget. Public education is $4.8 billion of that budget (source: Utah state budget report). While that is a lot of money, all you have to do is spend time in our schools to realize that is enough to scrape by with the high number of students we have, the cost of building maintenance and construction, etc. I don't understand how paying our teacher more is ever a bad thing. While there are definitely other factors that impact teacher motivation, a pay increase never hurts and always helps teachers feel more valued.

  • murray19 Murray, UT
    Feb. 9, 2018 10:45 a.m.

    Teachers, Police and First Responders all should be paid more. For the job they do and the impact that they have on society is more than most people realize. Teachers have their hands tied when it comes to teaching and disciplining students. Constant over watch by Administrations and parents who don't want to face reality that their kids most of the time are the real problem.

    Talk about raising taxes continue to have kids with student loans and low paying jobs and defaulting on those loans then be on government assistance and see what your taxes do.

  • help america bakersfield, CA
    Feb. 9, 2018 10:30 a.m.

    How do leaking pipes and bad class rooms get fixed by paying teachers more. A teacher should see the idiotic position that presents. We need to spend money on the infrastructure and not the teacher!!

  • 13Bpatriot SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 9, 2018 10:29 a.m.

    You can't compare being a teacher to being a software engineer. Your point is a misleading one. A teacher graduating with a bachelor's does far less to achieve that degree than a computer science major. For example, how many calculus classes does a teaching degree require? At the U, computer science/engineering requires 4 calculus classes.

    The careers you pointed out and tried to say are the same as teaching, are in reality, far more rigorous to obtain and far more valuable an any education degree. Education majors are consistently ranked as the easiest degree programs. You can't compare that to the degree programs that are consistently ranked as the hardest.

  • help america bakersfield, CA
    Feb. 9, 2018 10:27 a.m.

    Please reconsider. My family comes from a long line of educators in Utah and outside. I currently live in California but own property in Utah. The last thing Utah needs is to raise any raise or tax based upon "found" money. California has made this mistake over and over, from the rise of the dot.com industry to the excuse that the ecomony will continue to go up regardless of history. This has left California now looking under every rock and to tax anything that moves simply because of bad decisions years ago. Utah-come to your senses and do not make any raise or economic decision based upon a flash of the moment. It will be a descend into an ever growing gov't and tax increases that won't end.

  • Rick for Truth Provo, UT
    Feb. 9, 2018 10:03 a.m.

    News Flash, State Representatives, it’s not your money. You took it from us, the Utah tax payers. Try giving us, the people you took it from, back our money.

    I know you will never give us our money back, this is why we detest all of your tax and spend policies.

  • OlderGreg USA, CA
    Feb. 9, 2018 9:54 a.m.

    Teacher pay is a huge issue in itself, but the idea of boosting an ongoing expense (ie anybody's wages) with one-time found monies is pure foolishness.

    Just look to California and the pension systems fiasco, if you'd like to se the results

  • Confused Sandy, UT
    Feb. 9, 2018 9:48 a.m.

    Please site your source for where you get 90 percent of Granite Budget goes to Teacher's salaries.

    That is NOT the case at all, the budget mainly covers programs to help students learn, from getting free lunch to had specialist help them when they get behind,. Not to mention facilities maintenance, federal programs, etc.

    Your right every job has stress, but to dismiss the stress of teachers and trying to compare it to a stay at home mom.... well, if would be comparable if the husband came home every night and told his wife they are doing poor job every day. That is what teachers get from Administration, Parents, Legislature and the general public.. "You are not doing a good enough job". As would poster put it, Money is nice, but better and more support is important.

    Just so you know, my wife is a teacher, I watch her put in at the school 10 hours a day, 5 days a week making sure her kids are taught the very best she can provide. Then she comes home and puts in another 2-3 hours. She gets paid for 8.5 hours a day.

  • 13Bpatriot SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 9, 2018 9:02 a.m.

    Teachers don't need a pay raise.
    The BEGINNING Utah teacher starts off with a higher salary than the state's national average.
    School Districts need to learn how to budget better. Granite SD 2017-2018 budget is $642.7 million and 90% of that is spent on teacher salaries.
    How much more $$$ are we going to take from Utah families (who on average make less than teachers do) in order to give teachers more before we say it's enough?

  • Uteofferouus Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 9, 2018 8:58 a.m.


    You make a few good points that are valid. Believe it or not, a lot if not most jobs have high levels of stress – not just teaching jobs – just ask working mothers about their stress levels!

    Where I really agree with you is that factors like “manipulation of parents” is a real problem. But my friend, that is one of the realities of living in a “politically correct” world where teachers can no longer discipline the students or hold them accountable. Who gets the credit for creating that world?

    Moreover, many parents won’t take accountability for assisting teachers or even really supporting their own children because in many cases both parents are out there working very hard and are too tired and worn out to get engaged with the teachers or their children.

    I grew up in a time when it was “politically correct” for the father to be the primary provider and for the mother to be home to nurture the children, provide nutritious meals, and spend quantity and quality time with children and to support their teachers too. But oh, how dare I highlight the benefits from that type of family structure in today’s “enlightened” society?

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 9, 2018 8:37 a.m.


    A lot of teachers make more than "40K" a year - and remember that is for less than 12 months of work! Plus they get a pretty generous benefits package compared to a lot of other people.

    It is no more right to tax people out of their homes than it is to under pay our wonderful teachers!

    Now, I don't mind at all if we give teachers a raise - as long as you don't keep raising my property taxes to do it - are you listening Utah Legislature?

    My property taxes have gone up $300.00 a year for each of the last 2 years and much of that goes toward public education. My self and a lot of folks on a fixed income can't handle these on-going increases for property tax increases.

    Perhaps Legislators can find ways to reduce waste in expenditures to pay for teacher salaries? You could reduce the salaries of the football and basketball coaches at state owned universities for starters. If they're salaries don't come from taxes, then take all the extra football revenues and use it to pay public teachers!

  • teachermom6 Northern Utah, UT
    Feb. 9, 2018 8:24 a.m.

    I left the profession 3 years ago, after teaching for six years. Teaching in our state is looked upon as nothing more than a glorified church calling. Increased wages may help in a very small way, but what teachers desperately need to do is work ONLY their contract hours, and invest in their classrooms ONLY what they are compensated for. We have large class sizes and the constant threat of termination looming in the background because Johnny can’t read, write or do math. However, accountability is only placed at the teacher’s feet with no shared place at the table for parents or students. We as a state wonder why people don’t want to go into the profession? Teaching was by and large the most rewarding job I had, but not worth the stress, manipulation of parents, nor the horrible lack of support. I wouldn’t encourage anyone to go into this profession without drastic changes. To my teaching friends please stop giving your time and efforts for free. I know you want to bless your students, but it hurts only you in the end!

  • MaxPower Eagle Mountain, UT
    Feb. 9, 2018 8:23 a.m.

    Teachers make a pittance.

    A seasoned teacher makes less than 40k/year. And they deal with 30 screaming 8 and 9 year olds all day...every day.

    If you are like me, you are ready for a break from your own kids after a couple of hours on the weekend.

  • TS1495 Farr West, UT
    Feb. 9, 2018 8:17 a.m.

    The issues affecting teachers are not common to all school districts. Class size is a problem depending on your location and student population. Some districts are faced with smaller class sizes and a myriad of different issues. The biggest issue in the classroom in some schools is zero parental involvement in their students academic endeavors. Too many school aged kids come to school hungry, poorly clothed, and unable to learn in a traditional setting. Students are unable to focus and less time is spent teaching and more time trying to correct behavior. Special education needs additional funding to work with those children who start behind and need to learn to read or write at their school level. Administration needs to help teachers more in the classroom and spend less time worrying about metrics. The overall goal should be educating our students and preparing them for the challenges of the 21st century. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing the same way and expecting a different result.

  • TeachyMcTeacherPants Sandy, UT
    Feb. 9, 2018 8:14 a.m.

    Utah is heading towards a huge retirement boom for teachers aging out of the system with fewer new graduates to replace them.

    Until we value our public education system, we are not going to attract the right kind of people for the job. Education is an investment that pays off in the long term.

  • Guido Pescatore Layton, UT
    Feb. 9, 2018 6:52 a.m.

    The legislators found money "hidden in the cushions?" How does that work - how are they able to "lose" enough money to fund a $6,200 increase for every teacher? That does not pass the smell test.

    And I still don't understand why people are not allowed to petition and vote for initiatives that interest us. We should at least be allowed to vote for Our Schools Now without the legislature defeating it before we even get a say because they "know better what we want." And even if you don't agree with Our Schools Now (hey - you can vote no!), what happens tomorrow when it is an issue that interests you? Our legislators should not have final say.

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 9, 2018 6:48 a.m.

    I hope a little of this will go to teachers' substitutes who go the extra mile in all these schools every day!

  • The Real Maverick Spanish Fork, UT
    Feb. 9, 2018 6:29 a.m.

    Why shouldn’t we continue to spend more in education?

    Are we seeing fewer students?
    Has the teacher shortage been resolved?
    Is spending per pupil now at least average in the nation?

    Those whining about spending in education don’t seem to understand much about the subject.

    When your classroom sizes are gigantic, more and more students are flooding the system, resources dwindling, and teachers are abandoning ship to work in professions that pay them a living wage for their hard earned degrees, the ONLY solution is to “throw more money” at education.

    Maybe instead of wasting away money at prison relocations and winter games we should finally actually invest in public education? After all, how’s all those tech jobs gonna be filled if our children aren’t educated?

    Cmon repubs, turn your thinking caps on and stop whining.

  • WJ_Coach West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 9, 2018 6:18 a.m.

    When you compare teacher’s salaries to similar professional careers, teachers are paid well below jobs that require less education and certification. At our school, we have had 3 teachers in the past year that have left teacher for higher paying jobs out in the prIvate sector. Public accountants, registered nurses, and computer programmers, with less required degrees and certifications, make on average $15K more per year thank teachers. Even with the pay raise last year, teachers in Utah are paid around $10K less than teachers in surrounding states. The pay raise last year only put me back to the same salary I was at prior to the 2008 economic downturn when our salaries were cut 5-10%.

  • Driz Washington, UT
    Feb. 9, 2018 5:46 a.m.

    Deseret News needs to print a correction or clarify its reporting.

    I had to read the article multiple times to figure out the math. The problem is that the article claims teachers will be getting a $6,200 raise, but this is factually inaccurate based on what is reported. Yes, $2000 plus $4200 equals $6200. However, the $4200, as reported, is compensation that nearly every teacher in Utah has earned annually for at least 10 years. How does that amount to a raise when the $4200 has been a part of our earnings for a decade? Am I missing something? Is the $4200 new money or not?

    As such, the $2000 would equal an increase of $166 per month for each teacher's family in the State, so in essence, it would be a little less than a $1 per hour raise. Thank you so much for thinking of us in these lean economic times. Sadly, this amount would make a tremendous difference in the monthly balance sheets of many of our teachers, especially those who are just starting out.

  • PMac00 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 9, 2018 5:32 a.m.

    I urge Fullypresent and DN Subscriber to come visit my classroom. How do you get smaller classrooms without funding? I teach in a building that was built in 1961. Our water pipes are so old it is rust colored when it first comes out.

    Those holidays you are talking about are not paid. We have them off but many use that to work another job. I just used my own money to get another certification. I use my own time everyday to work on new lesson plans as I go to school more than an hour before contract time so I can grade papers, email parents, get lessons ready, buy supplies, make copies, and talk to students to make those connections. I invite you to see what a mark teachers make in lives every day...and this post is just a scratch.

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    Feb. 9, 2018 5:31 a.m.

    I need to ask the obvious question. Why does the state legislature control teacher salaries?

  • Red Smith American Fork, UT
    Feb. 9, 2018 4:31 a.m.

    Public Education is Public Day Care sprinkled with some literacy and numeracy.

    We should cut higher education 50% and put that money into higher vocational colleges with real jobs.

    A Phd's in English, Sociology, Philosophy, Sports Casting, are fun, but not a good investment for society as a whole.

    A degree does not confer intelligence or common sense.

  • 1Reader Alpine, UT
    Feb. 9, 2018 1:00 a.m.

    No teacher can realistically teach 30 to 35 second graders alone, which has become all too common now. We need to greatly reduce class sizes.

  • John Brown 1000 Laketown, UT
    Feb. 9, 2018 12:35 a.m.

    This is awesome news. It's too bad it isn't a $10,000 hike.

    What people forget is that schools are competing with every other business out there. You want more applicants? More competition? A better pool of applicants to choose from? Then you need to make the job more attractive.

    And a big part of that is pay.

  • water rocket Magna, UT
    Feb. 8, 2018 11:17 p.m.

    How about giving the teachers raises out of the over $16,000,000,000 annual educational budget? By the way, that is 16 BILLION dollars, which is more than adequate to give substantial pay raises, and still have money for other purposes. The LAST place law makers should be looking for additional money is from the over taxed public.

  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 8, 2018 10:40 p.m.

    Didn't teachers just get a raise?
    Emotional exhaustion, stress and burnout are the key reasons for moving to a different school or leaving teaching altogether. They have great benefits, summers and lots of holidays off, and other things. Those are worth some money too.

    Money can't replace good parent support, smaller classrooms, and good mentoring.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 8, 2018 9:30 p.m.

    The danger lies in the chance that gullible Utah voters will approve the ballot initiative, in addition to the Legislature throwing money at education.

    The entrenched education establishment will never be satisfied with their funding, and even if one, or both plans to spend more on education pass, you can be sure they will be back next year demanding more.

    We spend enough on education, and too much of that is wasted on bureaucracy, bloated administrative staffs, and building schools that are one of a kind architectural monuments instead of basic functional places to learn.

    Why is it that taxpayers are always the ones forced to make do with less, even when they work harder?