Utah governor, schools superintendent issue plea to former teachers: Come back

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  • quackquack Park City, UT
    Sept. 18, 2018 8:32 a.m.

    Why ? Herbert has vowed every election to put money in schools and education but never does.
    Some how he has money to sue Planned parenthood, Federal land grabs, Prison moves, Eminent domain in a historic park, & UTA gets millions yet teachers have to buy supplies for their students from their own paychecks.

    Its obvious the priory of this governor is not the kids or people this is no different than what we see in the ghetto or low economic communities generations of kids who are on drugs, steal and rob because of poorly funded educational systems. And you wonder why communities mile Midavale, West Valley and Kearns have high crime rates.

  • Nichol Draper West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 18, 2018 7:11 a.m.

    This isn't a difficult question and the answer is fairly simple as well. In truth there isn't a teacher shortage. There is shortage of computer programmers. There are two job openings for every computer programmer looking and half of the openings are not filled. So organizations that wish to hire computer programmers hire head hunters, increase the pay and increase the perks to being a computer programmer. For teachers a slight pay raise will be enough to keep existing teachers. Also stop hiring from out of state. Obviously a teacher from another state will leave as soon as they find a job in their original state where they have friends and family.

  • Tilka Portland, OR
    Sept. 17, 2018 11:43 p.m.

    I was a teacher in Utah and decided to move out of the state to pursue my teaching career mostly because of the UEA. I had decided to not join the Union, I was ostracized, given the worst classrooms, and the oldest books. comradery did not exist for those of us who didn't want to be in the union.

  • Nanook of the North Los Angeles, CA
    Sept. 16, 2018 10:06 p.m.

    You get what you pay for.

    (Remind me again what the average starting salary is for a public school teacher in Utah...?)

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

    Worth restating:

    Almost all problems with education start with the legislature which mandates what will be taught and sometimes how it will be taught. The foolish "evaluation" by administrators which has them counting how many times the teacher (or student) said or did something are of little value to the teacher or the administrator. If a principal can't sit in a classroom for 15 minutes and evaluate a teacher's ability, that person should be fired for incompetence. Get rid of the tests, throw out the Common Core Crap that was forced on the schools with no thought of how it might limit educators, and let teachers use their natural abilities and personalities to teach!
    I worked two jobs most of my career to make ends meet, but I loved what I was doing. As a substitute teacher for the past ten years, I see the profession declining because of restrictive curriculum and rules. By the way, when you compare the social-economic levels of students in private and public schools, you will find no difference in achievement. That hasn't changed in 50 years.

  • worf McAllen, TX
    Sept. 14, 2018 11:09 p.m.

    @terra nova,

    Who decides on who's a great teacher?---Politics again.

  • old dad Highland, UT
    Sept. 14, 2018 8:12 p.m.

    Does anyone know why the legislature pushed the tax increase to gasoline? It's because they own the mansions on the hill and don't want to pay what they consider to be a disproportionate amount of property tax. Let's be honest. The gas tax hasn't got a snowballs chance of passing, and they knew it all along. When it fails, they'll say that Utahn's don't want to increase taxes to support education. What a joke.
    I taught elementary through graduate school, have a BA, MA, and Ph.D. in education. For many years, I taught in the teacher certification program for the major universities in Utah and other states. I loved the profession. There is nothing more satisfying than knowing you helped a child along the path, and Utah has many dedicated teachers. They deserve to be treated decently. Yes, return the retirement system to pre 2011 status. Increase pay and benefits for those that have chosen this "noble" profession.

  • Monsieur le prof Sandy, UT
    Sept. 13, 2018 9:47 p.m.

    Almost all problems with education start with the legislature which mandates what will be taught and sometimes how it will be taught. The foolish "evaluation" by administrators which has them counting how many times the teacher (or student) said or did something are of little value to the teacher or the administrator. If a principal can't sit in a classroom for 15 minutes and evaluate a teacher's ability, that person should be fired for incompetence. Get rid of the tests, throw out the Common Core Crap that was forced on the schools with no thought of how it might limit educators, and let teachers use their natural abilities and personalities to teach!
    I worked two jobs most of my career to make ends meet, but I loved what I was doing. As a substitute teacher for the past ten years, I see the profession declining because of restrictive curriculum and rules. By the way, when you compare the social-economic levels of students in private and public schools, you will find no difference in achievement. That hasn't changed in 50 years.

  • Smartestinc Mapleton, UT
    Sept. 13, 2018 8:08 p.m.

    My last comment got submitted before I finished typing! Let me finish by saying, if I had the opportunity to work with students like that again, I would do so to help them earn royalties and copy rights, while earning their diplomas.

  • John Brown 1000 Laketown, UT
    Sept. 13, 2018 6:02 p.m.

    I swear this is straight out of a Dilbert comic strip.

    Dogbert: Let's see if any teachers want to come back.

    Boss: What can we promise them?

    Dogbert: Well, let's see. Low pay, big class sizes, list of vague learning objectives that are impossible to teach in the time given.

    Boss: I think it's missing on-the-job training programs that don't apply to the job.

    Dogbert: By Jove, you're right. Add that. Title it "noble calling." That's bound to draw them in.

  • Independent Henderson, NV
    Sept. 13, 2018 5:32 p.m.

    The problem is the false notion that changing it up every year and piling more work onto teachers will somehow produce better results for kids growing up in a broken culture. The failure of more and more parents to stay together and raise their kids responsibly has resulted in ridiculous burdens placed on the shoulders of teachers, administrators, and tax payers. Kids with two parents who are together and doing their job do well in school and make teaching a pleasant experience. Stop expecting underpaid teachers to pick up the slack. They can't. Throw as much money at the problem and make teachers do as much extra work as you want. It won't make a bit of difference. We can't expect test scores to rise when we can't even get a huge portion of kids to just show up, turn in their homework, and act civilly. The least we could do is to acknowledge that it's not the teachers' fault and stop treating them like it is.

  • Take 5 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2018 3:02 p.m.

    Low pay, reduced benefits, overloaded classrooms, guns in schools, disruptive students and parents, filling vacancies with uncertified persons....and you can’t figure out why we have a teacher shortage?

    Utah State Legislature: You Reap What You Sow.

  • pyradius Murray, UT
    Sept. 13, 2018 2:40 p.m.

    When in doubt, GAS TAX, right? How is this tax proportional to the service being provided? Oh right it isn't, this is just another way for landowners to subsidize their own property. Fact is, general revenue should come from land taxes.

    Even for roads, Henry George Theorem suggests that all non-Land based taxes for public services settles into the value of land. Why should I pay for other people's kids so that landowners can reap an unearned windfall?

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, WA
    Sept. 13, 2018 2:12 p.m.

    LOL --
    How do you recruit professionals?

    BEG them to come work for you?,
    call them "a noble profession"?,
    and then look down on them as low-lifes & pay them dirt wages with little to no benefits or respect?

    Sure, that works...
    that how ALL successful enterprises do it!

    [says no one ever!]

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2018 1:30 p.m.

    @Harrison Bergeron
    "The fact is that nationwide private schools consistently outscore public schools on college entrance exams. "

    Well of course they do, private schools hand-pick their students and parents are much more likely to be rigid in terms of holding their kids accountable for doing well in school if they are shelling out thousands of dollars a year to have them in private schools.

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2018 1:27 p.m.

    Low pay. Bureaucratic burden and rules. Lack of autonomy. Lack of respect. Teach to the test (not love of learning). Guns in classrooms. Unionization. Legislature questioning ability. Legislature allocating money and then tying the hands on how it is spent.

    “In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function.... We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.” C.S. Lewis (The Abolition of Man)

    If you want teaching to flourish, find a way to reward great teachers. If you want students to flourish, reward great teachers. If you want the RIGHT teachers to stay, reward the GREAT teachers.

    Nothing. Else. Matters.

    Thanks to the great teachers who have stayed, who have endured, who have made a difference, who have taught with power and grace, who have believed in us, who have challenged us, who have not let us slide. We are forever in your debt.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2018 1:14 p.m.

    Utah should compare how teachers have it in Utah (pay, benefits, class size, etc) to teachers in the other 49 states. They'll probably find some answers.

  • old dad Highland, UT
    Sept. 13, 2018 12:59 p.m.

    Heidi Matthews is correct. If you want to attract and keep teachers, make the job attractive. Several years ago a Utah Legislator raped the teachers retirement system, making impossible for a Utah teacher to retire. He said Utah would increase teacher pay so they could contribute to a 401K and control their own retirement investment. Ha ha! Teachers knew that would never happen. The evils of a defined benefit system were touted, and the beauty of a defined contribution system were praised. The results could've been predicted by a child, and now we are living with it. You get what you pay for.

  • Jonjacobjinglehimersmith Moab, UT
    Sept. 13, 2018 12:30 p.m.

    The states with the best public education systems are typically in the Northeast. Those are all blue states that have higher teacher pay and don't view teachers as a liberal nuisance.

    For example Katy wrote,
    "Re: salaries - 9 month contracts and what is paid can not be compared with 12 month contracts of other employees in other fields. Hourly pay is higher for teachers than in most professional jobs. Many teachers like their summers off to travel and others have other employment that adds to their yearly salaries."

  • worf McAllen, TX
    Sept. 13, 2018 11:06 a.m.

    I am curious. Couple questions:

    1. If you tripled wages for all teachers.

    How much would it improve education?

    2. If you eliminated standardized testing.

    Would the quality of education decrease?

  • katy Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2018 11:04 a.m.

    What teachers really need is respect from not only students, but parents as well. Many students come to school unwilling to listen/learn. Parents are not doing their job in the home regarding being respectful and challenging authority.

    Re: salaries - 9 month contracts and what is paid can not be compared with 12 month contracts of other employees in other fields. Hourly pay is higher for teachers than in most professional jobs. Many teachers like their summers off to travel and others have other employment that adds to their yearly salaries.

    When taxes are raised for less students in a classroom - The $ most always doesn't get used for that. Teaching is not rewarding as it was even ten years ago because of the attitude of students and difficulty maintaining an atmosphere of learning.

  • Jonjacobjinglehimersmith Moab, UT
    Sept. 13, 2018 11:01 a.m.

    Harrison Bergeron - A private school ought to have more to offer than a public school otherwise they would not be able to justify charging tuition. Additionally, a decent private school is typically selective, which increases the likelihood of higher standardized scores.

    A better comparison would be with charter schools. Charters are a very mixed bag. Those that do compare well (Harmony, K.I.P.P. and Yes Prep.) have lottery systems to get accepted. Additionally, they are typically unavailable to most inner city kids due to lack of busing.

    A decent suburban public high school in a major U.S. city will typically have many more offerings (AP and IB) than any charter school.

    IMHO charters are more prone to abuse (financial and academic) than publics because of the lack of regulation.

  • What in Tucket Provo, UT
    Sept. 13, 2018 9:29 a.m.

    Nationally the average teacher salary is $58,000. Utah is $55,000. I would not call these salaries great, but not too bad. I don't oppose an increase in pay as everyone looks to get raises these days. But I don't see it as a poverty wage. Yes the starting salary is nothing to brag about around $35,000 in Utah. What we need is good teaching. My opinion is in Utah we should go to vouchers as teaching would improve at a lower cost to the tax payer.

  • Principles66 Eagle Mountain, UT
    Sept. 13, 2018 9:17 a.m.

    Many teachers would return if the teacher certification process was not so difficult to reestablish. Make certifications last longer and simple to obtain if they were previously certified and the teacher shortage would disappear.

  • pclarkbassman North Logan, UT
    Sept. 13, 2018 9:07 a.m.

    Dear Gov Herbert,

    Begging is not going to bring teachers back. Pleading is not going to bring teachers back. The teacher shortage is a combination of multiple moves by our government that has taken the power away from teachers. Stop wasting money on administrative perks. Increase insurance benefits. Stop pointless programs that are meant to "boost" morale. Don't just listen to teachers, do what they say. Stop ineffective alternative routes to licensure. Increase pay.

    We are the ones on the front line. We are the ones that see kids suffering from lack of resources. We are the ones struggling in oversized classrooms, spending more time on classroom management than teaching curriculum.

    Knowing how to dress a wound does not make me a doctor, nor should qualify me for a board position at a hospital. Hire effective teachers to be in charge of other teachers. Politicians and lawyers, although savvy in language and persuasion, are not teachers. Just because they went through public education when they were young, or had kids in education, does not mean they know how to run it. Stop begging. If you really value our children, listen to those who spend the most time with them.

  • Sweet Ginger Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2018 9:00 a.m.

    I looked at going back to school to become a teacher 15 years ago. My boyfriend at the time (now husband) tried to encourage me saying I didn't need to make much, he could take care of most of the bills. I pulled up the salaries for him and his jaw dropped open, "that won't cover the beer budget!"

    I think about teaching often. I love kids, I love learning, I don't need money. That said, I look at the stress of teaching and the sacrifice I would be making (vacations with my family, lack of flexibility) and I can't bring myself to do it. I do volunteer work instead.

    It's time to respect teachers by doubling their salary and pay for it with a progressive tax (rather than a regressive tax on gasoline).

  • TheJester American Fork, UT
    Sept. 13, 2018 8:51 a.m.

    @Stanley Yelnats said:

    "BTW: I am in tech profession (and have taught HS)
    No pension; Self-funded healthcare; long hours year-round; welcome to reality!"

    This might be the most true and most disheartening thing I have read on these forums in a long time. How sad that we have accepted "no pension, self-funded healthcare, long hours year-round" as a standard. In a day and age when corporate profits are as high as they have ever been, when corporate taxes are as low as they have been in generations, as the 1% has reaped the vast majority of all income gains over the last 20 years, the rest of us are left to accept "no pension, self-funded healthcare, long hours year-round".

    Well done America. We have the government and financial system we deserve, through our own apathy.

    Well done.

  • Thomas Jefferson Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2018 8:49 a.m.

    Why would any of them come back? They are treated like a red headed stepchild. Told that they need to teach the largest classes in the country. Told that they arent worth their pay. Have to fight parents who always believe their lying kids instead of the school officials. And even told that new teachers dont need to get the same education level that current ones had to PAY for, all so the legislature can pinch a few bucks which they then spend on their own pet projects. Pet projects which benefit them personally.

    Nope nope nope.

  • papalou Richland, WA
    Sept. 13, 2018 8:31 a.m.

    I taught biology and electronics at Roy High school around 1975. My BA was in Biology, that was my subject. After a year of teaching I was told that next year I would only be teaching the electronics shop and my work would be at two different high schools. I would be commuting back and forth. I was not consulted about this and no attempt was made to "sell" me on this idea. It was a command. So I quit. I wanted to teach Biology.
    I went on to earn a MEEE degree from the University of Utah, worked for National Semiconductor and Intel Corp as a microprocessor designer, and retired at age 61. Needless to say I got a big pay raise. I taught digital logic nights at a junior college to satisfy my desire to teach. This was a great move for my large family.

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    Sept. 13, 2018 8:18 a.m.

    The state legislature and the Governor have degraded the profession. Lowering standards to enter the profession does not help, it hurts. Poorly educated teachers are gaining endorsements in areas that used to require serious college work. Some newer teachers simply do not understand or even have much passion for their content area. Some of those who seek alternative paths to certification have simply burned out in one profession and are looking for a hole to nest in until retirement. We don't need alternative paths into the profession, we need one good one, with decent salaries and benefits waiting at the end of that path.

    Teachers have lost authority in their own classrooms. State laws reduce student and parent accountability. "Final" term grades are not permanent. A student can literally fail or perform poorly in multiple classes and graduate with a 4.0 GPA by completing (or having others complete) packets or simplistic online courses. The state has set up credit opportunities to make it easier to earn or makeup credit online. This silly credit is no where near the educational experience. Professional classroom teachers are accountable. The state of Utah is not.

  • Lia Sandy, UT
    Sept. 13, 2018 8:17 a.m.

    A head tax is needed. People with many children should pay more than those with fewer.
    How hard is THAT?
    Or--tax baby food and diapers.

  • AlaskaCougar Wasilla, AK
    Sept. 13, 2018 1:02 a.m.

    Ya, right. Thanks for the laugh Utah. I'll come back when i can make more than even70 % of my current income instead of 40%, and have a decent retirement package.

  • BrotherSLH Roy, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 11:22 p.m.

    I wonder how many teachers would “come back”, and how many new people would be attracted to teaching, if salaries and pay scales were doubled and classroom sizes were limited to 20-25 students? The invitation to come back because teaching is a “noble profession” is demeaning and embarrassing.

  • Utah Teacher Orem, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 11:05 p.m.

    There is one easy way to bring people back to the profession.

    Return the retirement package to what it was pre-2011.

    We all warned the legislature and Liljenquist what would happen if the castrating of the pension plan where to take place.

    They did it anyway and here we are just 7 years removed from that and we can't get people to stay in the profession.

    Every once in a while it might be nice for the higher ups to actually listen to the people in the trenches.

    I've got 4 more years then I'm gone. I'd stay longer if I was still going to get the retirement package I was promised when I started. Then they pulled it out from under me with no warning. When I started I was promised a pension and 7 years of health care upon retirement. I knew I would be working for less money than I could make in private industry but the retirement was going to be worth it. I'll still get the pension but no health care.

    The new teachers get none of that. Why would they stay? They have kept the lower pay but not increased the benefits to match private industry.

    It isn't that hard to figure out.

  • Schwa Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 10:36 p.m.

    Pay them, and they will come back.

  • bassoonlady OREM, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 9:58 p.m.

    The funny thing here is that we all complain about the state of education, but when it comes to raising taxes to pay teachers, no one is willing to do it. I have read so many people comment things to the effect of, "why should I pay property tax when I don't have kids in school?" Etc.
    An educated general populous benefits everyone. The policeman who keeps you safe was public educated. The construction company that maintains our roads are public educated. The people who invented your tech are public educated. The economy thrives when there are qualified workers, which keeps your retirement from disappearing in a collapse.

    This is something we need to stop blaming others for and start being willing to fund.
    Also, I think each year we should get a report in the mail from the school districts about where the money went, including money assessed as fees. I think accountability on the district level would also improve things.

    But in the end, It's not just the government that needs to support teachers. It's all of us.

  • Msherlock33 Canada, 00
    Sept. 12, 2018 9:55 p.m.

    I would love to teach in Utah. I am currently a teacher in Ontario Canada. I wish it was an easy process for international teachers.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Sept. 12, 2018 9:39 p.m.

    I was a high school English teacher in Utah for a few years.

    When my spouse said, "What shall we pay for this month: the mortgage or the groceries?" I said, "I get the message."

    I left teaching, got a much easier job in private business and within 3 years quadrupled my income. I still ask myself why I broke my back with 215 writing students, reviewing and grading papers till 2 a.m. every night, for less than they paid the guy who painted the stalls in the parking lot outside.

    No need for a "study" or a "survey," Governor, to find out why teachers are leaving. Just look in the mirror. You are the reason. You and the Republican leaders of this state who have starved and overloaded teachers to the breaking point. So NO--though I loved teaching students, I am NOT coming back.

  • worf McAllen, TX
    Sept. 12, 2018 8:57 p.m.

    Does anyone know how much money is spent on standardized tests?

    What accountability is placed on teachers to raise test scores?

    Many students are burned out with these tests and will randomly place any answer for the test questions. This is where teachers are treated like dirt for low test scores.

  • birder Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 8:49 p.m.

    I will retire in a couple of years, and won’t be coming back. Why? After nearly 4 decades of teaching, I make half the salary of my young nieces and nephews fresh out of college. Yes, half. I am required to spend much of my time doing test prep rather than real teaching. My curriculum is micromanaged. I have most of the discipline problem kids in my class. My class size is huge. The stress is off the charts. The evaluation system is a bunch of busywork. My retirement benefits were frozen. Need I say more? Begging and pleading won’t help. Show us the money and reasonable working conditions.

  • Harrison Bergeron Holladay , UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 8:08 p.m.

    Jonjacobjinglehimersmith: "It is your type of approach that has led to the deplorable state of Utah education."

    That is a very bold statement. But it doesn't hold up to even a small amount of scrutiny. The approach has never been tried in Utah education. So how could it have led to anything at all?

    The fact is that nationwide private schools consistently outscore public schools on college entrance exams. And they are safer. Given the rash of stabbings, beatings and shootings in public schools, that alone is reason to try something different.

  • GLasater St. George, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 8:06 p.m.

    Why should they. They are underpaid and overworked. I experience it daily with a wife who gives it her all without much appreciation or gratitude. She would move on if she could. Once in a while perhaps those on the State Board of Education and in the local school districts leadership should spend a month in the classroom and then they could see how their wonderful decision making is forcing great teachers to leave. They truly live in glass houses.

  • CMO Beaver Beaver, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 7:50 p.m.

    pay them what they are worth and they will come back... and lower class size

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 7:42 p.m.

    I know Governor Herbert means well... but this is pretty embarrassing.

  • Mom of Six Northern Utah, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 7:10 p.m.

    Hmm... perhaps we are trying to fend off a strike like we’ve seen in neighboring Arizona. Teachers in Utah are tired!

  • kranny utah, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 6:52 p.m.

    Getting rid of tenure and the Feds would be a good start.

  • teachermom6 Northern Utah, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 6:18 p.m.

    I was a teacher in the state of Utah for six years. I loved my students, and loved teaching immensely. However unlike many on this post that point fingers at the right, I place blame on everyone
    1- My main issue with the job was constant stress! Test scores seemed to be the ONLY thing cared about besides stupid evaluation forms that had to be filled out as part of accountability. These forms were insulting, as professionals are treated as though they have no goal setting skills for themselves. Not to mention visits from administration who were never allowed to tell teachers of a job well done when it was deserved. What good is an evaluation with no feedback?
    2-Large class sizes of 30+ 3rd graders... try teaching 1on 1 with this many kiddos!
    3-Poorly behaved students and parents. In 6 years, I only had one parent who was difficult, however she made my life miserable! There is never any reprimand for poor behavior. If you want to pass a great money making law, how about charging parents for their children’s misdeeds in school, or placing a fine on disruptive parents?
    4- The money was horrible, but it wasn’t the worst thing for me!
    Teach again? I’ll pass!

  • utahprincipal801 Sandy, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 6:14 p.m.

    Wow, Gov. Herbert! You still haven't gotten the message that excellent education starts with a great teachers that are supported by the parents, community, and government with a salary, working conditions and benefits commensurate with other professionals. No amount of of begging, and reaching for heartstrings will compensate for the above. Gone are the days that you can fill the classrooms of Utah with people by expecting them to do difficult, challenging work that will mainly be paid with feeling noble and self-sacrificing, with salaries and benefits that cheat them and their families of a lifestyle that their education and talents deserve. I spent 18 years in my classroom and twelve years administrating giving my heart and soul, and also paying for most of my three degrees. Have I encouraged any of my children or young relatives to follow the same path? Absolutely not. Especially with the pension cuts and the lack of respect from parents, it is not worth it.

  • mominthetrenches South Jordan, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 5:27 p.m.

    I am one of those who dreamed of being an educator, like my dad. I taught in various volunteer capacities and age groups going through college so I could get a decent perspective of the range of teaching positions available. I graduated with a BS in Elem Ed from BYU. I had a horrible experience student teaching-loved the kids, but saw how powerless a teacher was. Entitled, snotty parents and good teachers being underpaid, overworked and unable to please, no matter what they did, completely turned me off. I went back to school with a very rewarding 10-year career in Environmental Geology. I volunteer like crazy with my kids, because I admire those who are helping my kids. Those good teachers who hang in and inspire deserve much, MUCH more-better benefits, retirement packages, smaller class sizes, paid trainings and a realistic salary. If these things were discussed, I might even consider coming back, because I truly enjoy the students, but my time & level of STEM education are worth a lot more than what they are willing to compensate. Do a salary survey of surrounding States-it would be a reality check for the Gov & Superintendents, for sure.

  • FanOfTheSith Vernal, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 5:26 p.m.

    I know two former Teachers in my area who went back to school to get their CDL with Hazmat designation and are now driving tankers and water trucks in the oil field. According to them, they are ecstatic with their pay checks now.

  • Fair Flower Layton, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 5:24 p.m.

    I loved teaching, but after 25 years, I was just plain worn out. I'd love to go back to teaching, but not it's worth the effort to get back into the job. I would also be paid less and probably have an even higher class load. Bummer.

  • HelperUT Scofield, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 5:21 p.m.

    Teacher: Hey, my pay is pretty low considering my credentials. Also, thanks for taking away my pension, giving me really large class sizes, criticizing my "actual" workload, and always turning me into the bad guy regarding student/parent/administrative conflict. Honestly, I think I'll find a new job with either higher pay, less stress, or maybe both. *shrugs*

    Utah: We need you back. If you would just take this survey...

    (Former) Teacher: Will you make my salary more competitive?

    Utah: .....

    (Former) Teacher: Consider re-establishing a pension?

    Utah: ..... teaching is a noble profession.

    (Former) Teacher: Give me reasonable class sizes?

    Utah: ...... Students need and deserve you.

    Utah: ...... Please.

  • armchair quarterback DRAPER, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 5:17 p.m.

    Athletes and actors make obscene amounts of money for entertaining us. Yet, those with whom we entrust our most valued resources (our children) are paid a pittance in comparison. It’s a sad reflection on our society. I’m sure grateful for the wonderful teachers my children have despite this fact. I don’t know how they do it. They deserve MUCH better.

  • Mark from Montana Davis County, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 5:15 p.m.

    Governor: Teaching is a noble profession. We need the best, the brightest, and the most talented people to teach our youth.

    Legislature hears this and thinks: Ha, with that sort of plea, with teaching being such a noble profession, we can cut the pay again, we can increase class size by 20%, and since teachers are so noble, we can get them to purchase many of the supplies needed for their classes.

    If those in charge (state leaders mostly) truly thought it was so noble and of such importance, they would double the pay. They would make sure teachers had the supplies they needed to provide a best in nation education. They would find the money to ensure it happened. It will never take place because few believe it, few of those that vote believe it, until it is their kids who cannot spell, cannot write and think 2+2=43.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 5:10 p.m.

    The way this Governor and Legislature have treated public teachers over the past decade was abusive and inexcusable. These elected officials chose to push Private and Charter Schools at the expense of public education.

    Even though these officials made Charter Schools “public” funded doesn’t mean those teachers are public.

    These officials knew the student population was going to increase. Utah has not treated public educators as lower class citizens and pay is one way. That impacted on the retirement for teachers that put in 20-40 years into the vital career for our children and grandchildren.

    Until the Government offers more enticements, these teachers were offended and need more than lip service.

  • satch Highland, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 5:08 p.m.

    We came blame the legislature all we want, and yes they have created a toxic environment. But until the communities support change at the voting booths nothing will change.

    Get rid or voting for republicans and democrats and vote for people with real ideas and real leadership and maybe this ship can begin to turn around.

  • Jonjacobjinglehimersmith Moab, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 5:09 p.m.

    Harrison Bergeron - It is your type of approach that has led to the deplorable state of Utah education. There are numerous examples all of the country of top notch public schools around the country, just not too many in Utah.

    Your suggested approach of vouchers and privatization has been used in New Orleans, Detroit, and Washington D.C. without any appreciable increase in test scores.

    A decent private school costs at least $15,000.00 per year in tuition. A $3,000.00 or $4,000.00 voucher still leaves these types of schools out of reach for most families.

    Charter schools are a very mixed bag. Those that are good, have lengthy waiting lists with a lottery system to get in. Many of the other charter schools are diploma mills that enrich the owners at the expense of public education. Read about New Orleans if you don't believe me.

    School privatization is akin to private prisons and we all know how that has gone.

  • kb2772 Layton, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 4:48 p.m.

    I don't think that it helped that they started hiring people without teaching degrees in the last year or two. That really sent the message that anyone can do what teachers do; you don't need specialized training to be a teacher. Insulting. I believe that the retention rate is even lower with this group. Maybe that training really is important. This was a short term idea to help the teacher shortage, but might have down more harm than good in the long run, by demeaning the profession.

    Low pay. Reduced benefits. Huge class sizes. Less autonomy. I think that it is a tough job. I am sure grateful for the Utah teachers that continue to make a difference for my kids.

  • Take 5 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 4:33 p.m.

    So the Utah State Legislature wants me to come out of retirement and go back into the classroom after they have stripped the unions who fought hard over the years for women’s labor right...like we didn’t have to quit because you were pregnant? They want women to go into teaching and get crumbs for a wage instead of going to school In Business, engineering, medicine? They want me to start carrying a gun in my classroombecause the USL will not fund school security and mental health programs? Go back into the classroom and be paid according to what my students tests scores are, when many of the students don’t even speak English? Where many of the principals, the leaders of the school, are so inept, the reason they are there, because the district had to take them out of the classroom? Parents not taking responsibility for their children’s poor behavior. You want teachers to have to go to work every day and be a social worker instead of teach because our young people are so stressed out and anxious from family pressures? Low pay, no respect...I could go on and on.
    Really....go back to the classroom....you have got to be kidding me!

  • junkgeek Agua Dulce, TX
    Sept. 12, 2018 4:21 p.m.

    When you read the phrase "noble profession" it means they aren't going to pay you.

  • Dart Thrower Ogden, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 4:21 p.m.

    Conservatives have attacked teachers for decades by promoting private schools, vouchers, limited budgets and deriding teachers as lazy union membership holding liberals. I have never seen a "Salute to Teachers" theme game at a sporting event. When the Rodeo announcer has police, fireman, military and EMT's stand for a big round of applause, I always wonder why they don't just add Teachers to the list. So if you make a pittance and no one honors your pivotal role in society, it is just easier to hang it up and work somewhere else. We are getting out of education exactly what we put into it - the minimum possible funding.

  • Harrison Bergeron Holladay , UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 4:20 p.m.

    Public education is perpetually broke and broken.

    Because education is run by the government it is by nature inefficient and ineffective. Government has a role in funding education, but not provide the service. Government should give every family a tuition credit for their child and let them shop for the best school they can find.

    This would allow market forces such as competition to improve the product. Teachers would make more money. Students would get a better education. Parents would have more of a stake in their children's education. And taxpayers would get some relief.

    Until we change the model, we are going to see these same problems forever.

  • PNWUte Vancouver, WA
    Sept. 12, 2018 4:14 p.m.

    Good luck with that. I’m a teacher in the state of Washington. I make about $20,000 more per year than I could make in Utah, with much better benefits.

    There’s an easy way to fix the teacher shortage, but Utah isn’t willing to pay for it. Pleading for teachers to come back isn’t going to cut it.

  • EdwardK South Ogden, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 4:06 p.m.

    I certainly feel like this article and the survey is a manipulation of teachers. No questions on the survey concerned why I left or what may cause me to desire to return to teaching. Stating that we former teachers will have a voice and then turning the survey into a make-shift job fair is the typical actions that drive us out. Give teachers an actual voice and listen these voices. We are educated and experienced individuals. You are losing much by silencing us and isolating us.

  • EdwardK South Ogden, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 3:53 p.m.

    I was a teacher for five years in Utah's public schools: coached, taught overloaded schedules of overloaded classes, and served on the Association at all levels. I am not teaching overseas at an international school. I took the survey. It was only a resume! Asked what I taught, which endorsements I had, and if they could share that information with districts with open positions. There was not one single questions about why I left or why I might return as the article indicated. So, I will say it now:

    I need a few apologies from key figures. I do not need these what feels like half-hearted blandishments. I need the truth. I want transparency, accountability, and admittance that teachers have not been treated well. It is too late for a few kind words and telling me it's noble what I do. In addition, may I add the phrase I tell all of my students? "The best apology is changed behavior." Words are meaningless.

    This questionnaire is a prime example. The quote says they are trying to determine why teachers have left and are leaving and what it might take to get them back, yet, the questionnaire had none of those elements. Chronically disappointed.

  • Stanley Yelnats Highland, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 3:40 p.m.

    I am all for funding our education system and also treating teachers with the respect (and pay) that they deserve.

    Accountability and Performance is the key for me. In most professions, there are frequent and appropriate reviews. Is there a system in place to correctly evaluate and retain great teachers and terminate others? Also, how are we monitoring spending?

    This year I had to pay a "technology fee" for $45 dollars regardless of whether my children had a class that used a computer or not. What? The school raised over $120K in technology fees. Any accountability of where that money went?

    School district has raised taxes ever year; and keeps hinting to more (bigger) tax hikes. Is education getting any better? Evaluation and performance!

    The education system needs to show how it will be a good steward over the funds they currently are receiving and the increases they want (deserve).

    BTW: I am in tech profession (and have taught HS)
    No pension; Self-funded healthcare; long hours year-round; welcome to reality!

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, WA
    Sept. 12, 2018 3:22 p.m.

    My son was a teacher at Herriman High School.

    Master Degree - University of Utah
    Bachelors Degree - Weber State University
    summa cum laude

    YOU [the State] put extremely High Education and advanced degree requirements for licensure on these Teachers --
    and then YOU only pay them $16.58 an hour.

    In-N-Out Burger pays $11 - $16 an hour

    Money talks,
    Bull--oney walks...

  • Jefferson, Thomas Bluffdale, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 2:39 p.m.

    Know a young teacher, not even 30, quit over stiffling regulations, not pay. Could double the pay and they wouldn’t have enjoyed it any more.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 2:35 p.m.

    We get the government we deserve which is why we currently have the education system we do. Utahans have showed indifference and disdain for teachers for decades. Our education system has been underfunded for years. The chickens have come home to roost.

  • Guido Pescatore Layton, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 2:32 p.m.

    "The survey will help us determine the reason behind it (not currently teaching) and if there is a desire to come back to the classroom and if they have desires, how we might help mitigate those issues,"

    Ha ha ha ha - really? They need a survey? I wonder how much that will cost them. Here's this - for free: how about treating and paying our educators like the professionals they expect them to be. I seriously don't understand how they don't get that someone can make the same amount of money working at Home Depot without nearly the burden that comes with being an educator.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 2:19 p.m.

    "It does not take 13 years to teach a person to write a paragraph and do multiplication.
    If we treated it more like Daycare which it is, we'd have better outcomes."

    Wow. No wonder Utah education is horrible with those kinds of attitudes. It is not anything like daycare. Yes, the way Utah warehouses students like cattle in overcrowded classes is wrong, but it doesn't mean it has to be. My kid is a Senior (granted at a private school), but, she has a 4.1 GPA with multiple AP and honors classes. She's a 4 year varsity athlete in 2 sports. She's a Student body officer. She will go to college, at a renowned aviation school, on a mix of athletic and academic scholarships. Some of her neighborhood friends, that go to our local public High School have similar offers. If Utah would treat education as important as attending church, we'd have a great education system and teachers waiting to get hired. But, the GOP patriarch doesn't think it's that important.

  • red.diehard Central, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 2:14 p.m.

    As a STEM professional of 25 years the allure of teaching for a few to ride until retirement is real. Working for 1/4 of my current salary would preclude me from pursing teaching. All the years of honing my craft are meaningless in the teacher pay scale, why would anybody go into education?

  • why play SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 2:06 p.m.

    Most pathetic article I've seen in years. Having been tied close to education, I've seen first-hand the degradation of this profession. After years of abusing the profession by using teachers as either pawns or excuses, politicians are now begging teachers to come back.

    Why would anyone want to enter this profession? Pay is low (especially in Utah), hours are long, benefits have been cut back to basically nothing and the kids are brats. No longer do the parents support teachers, but rather have an attitude of "my kid is perfect and does no wrong" and blame teachers for everything.

    Those blaming the union should understand the real reason teachers join the union, which is, the union is the only place they can obtain any economical legal backing. In our current litigious society, to enter this profession without backing would be finacial and career suicide. The union is the only affordable protection most teachers have when they come under fire by parents, the public and administrators.

    Teaching is the most abused, underappreciated profession in the state. Again I ask, "In this day and age, why would anyone enter this profession to begin with?"

  • Jonjacobjinglehimersmith Moab, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 1:46 p.m.

    My daughter and her husband both graduated from BYU with teaching degrees around ten years ago. He worked at Cottonwood HS for three years and she worked at Riverton HS for three years. Their classes were overcrowded and they were underpaid. They both took jobs in Cypress, Texas where they came close to doubling their salaries. They also have smaller classes. They are both still teaching and are happy they made the move. They saved up and bought their first home a year ago. This would have never happened in Utah.

    The Utah State Legislature does not view teaching as a year around job. They justify the poor pay and benefits by stating that they are deserved because teachers only work nine months of the year. The push for low property taxes also results in already over crowed classrooms being jammed with more and more students. My daughter once had a class in Utah with forty kids.

    Utah's teacher shortage is simple. Other states poach Utah teachers because they pay them better and give them smaller classes.

  • Red Smith American Fork, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 1:45 p.m.

    Let's be honest. Public Education is Public Daycare.

    It does not take 13 years to teach a person to write a paragraph and do multiplication.

    If we treated it more like Daycare which it is, we'd have better outcomes.

  • Yokohamaboy Heber City, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 1:34 p.m.

    I think it’s amazing that Utah spends half of its budget on general education (not including higher education) yet teachers in some districts are only paid around $35,000 with no real benefits. Where does all the money go? I think we need to start auditing the school districts

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 1:15 p.m.

    "Oh, please come back-we need you", isn't going to cut it. Pay them. Fund their retirement, treat them with the respect they deserve. All the things our Legislature and the Governor destroyed.
    Utah thinks they're going to attract big tech businesses with the Silicon Slopes. They're wrong. Big Tech needs qualified workers to move to Utah. They won't due to our sorry public education and poor air quality. We'll end up with giant warehouses and warehouse jobs. The Utah GOP ruined public education. They're going to have to dig deep to fix it. And, it's not going to happen overnight.

  • mcclark Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 1:17 p.m.

    Maybe pay them better and not treat them like dirt. That might help.

  • BC-Cali21 , CA
    Sept. 12, 2018 1:08 p.m.

    We need to recruit and retain the best and the brightest of society...
    1. Treat them as though they are the best. If the state, district, etc. requires any “extra” training after they’re hired, the state should pay for it just as if a company required any additional employee education, the company would have to pay for that...do the same for your teachers.
    2. Pay them as though they are the best. Your pay raises are a step in the right direction, but we all know that the pay teachers make is a slap in the face compared to all the education and personal time they’ve spent getting to where they are now.
    3. Get rid of the teacher’s union. Stop funneling cash into a system that only leeches off of and stifles teacher’s salaries.

  • Rocket Science Brigham City, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 1:05 p.m.

    I have heard a number of very good scientists and engineers say "I would rather teach school if I could just afford to live on the pay"

    How many years ago was it that the legislature gutted teachers pensions - one very good benefit that could entice many to teach was drastically changed with the pen of legislature.

    Apparently recent modest raises were not enough to stem the tide of those leaving teaching.