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Friday, December 14, 2007

More $$ for Teachers

The only question is how.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Truth in Politics said...

Stop giving stadiums away. That might help.

12/14/2007 10:14 AM  
Anonymous Reward Academic Excellence said...

Other important questions are: (1) To whom? (2) Why? and (3) How much?

The governor's notion that all teacher are undercompensated is foolishness. Some teachers are undercompensated, others are fairly compensated, while others are overcompensated.

We must expect excellence and we must reward excellence. Anything else is just wasting money.

12/14/2007 2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another neo-con push towards merit pay. How about using market forces by paying great educators a decent salary to build competition with new applicants.

Boy, that was easy.

12/14/2007 6:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How to pay teachers: Gov. wants raises through districts; lawmakers insist on direct payments
By Lisa Schencker
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 12/14/2007 07:15:25 AM MST

Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. and Republican legislative leaders want to give teachers a good raise next year, but they might be at odds over how to do it.
Huntsman has proposed teacher raises come from a significant increase - 7 percent - in the weighted pupil unit (WPU), or the amount districts receive from the state per student. He said increasing the WPU gives school districts budgeting flexibility.
House and Senate leaders, however, say they want the money to go to teachers directly rather than to school districts. Such a strategy would ensure that districts wouldn't use the money for other purposes and would enable lawmakers to specify how much teachers get regardless of years of service. They see that as a way to keep newer teachers from leaving the profession.
Legislators gave teachers direct raises this year, but many still have not received the full amount because of confusion at the state level.
House Speaker Greg Curtis, R-Sandy, said House Republican leaders are leaning toward funding direct compensation.
"Even though there were some hiccups in it last year, our first year, such as not getting the right count of teachers, we liked the methodology," Curtis said.
Senate President John Valentine, R-Orem, said the Senate Republican Caucus also debated whether to endorse the governor's proposed 7 percent increase in per-pupil
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money or directly increase teacher salaries again.
"It was a big discussion, but there's a lot of support for increasing direct teacher compensation," Valentine said, adding there has not been an agreement on percentage or dollar amount.
State education groups prefer the flexibility of Huntsman's proposal.
Putting the raises in the WPU would likely be simpler than giving the money directly to teachers, Utah Education Association President Kim Campbell said.
"We appreciate the intent of the Legislature last year to make sure money went into teachers' salaries, but we realize that it created some unforeseen difficulties," Campbell said.
Richard Stowell, executive director of the Utah School Boards Association, said his group also would prefer the money be put into the WPU.
"Each school district is a little different, and this certainly would allow for some local control," Stowell said. He said school boards understand giving teachers raises is a priority.
Huntsman said he is confident districts would use the money to give teachers raises.
"I think there will be no mistaking the fact we are targeting teachers," he said when he presented his budget Monday. "If that's lost on a bureaucracy, then heaven help them."
Ultimately, the governor is open to discussion as long as teachers get their money one way or another, spokeswoman Lisa Roskelley said Wednesday.
The Utah Office of Education has not yet taken a position on the matter, but wants to make sure teachers are paid adequately either way, said Larry Shumway, associate state schools superintendent.
He said if legislators ultimately decide to fund the raises directly, he is confident the process would go more smoothly this time.
"We certainly learned a lot about how they directly funded it last year," Shumway said.
In fact, the executive appropriations committee endorsed a base budget bill earlier this week that would make sure teachers get the rest of their raises from this year.
First-grade Manti Elementary School teacher BreAnn Clark said she would prefer to get next year's raise directly again, though she trusts her school district would do the right thing even if the money goes into per-pupil funding.
"I would prefer they give it to us directly, but if it did happen the other way, I wouldn't be torn apart or devastated," Clark said.
lschencker@sltrib.com
---
* SHEENA MCFARLAND contributed to this story.

12/17/2007 9:57 PM  
Anonymous Tech Man said...

Teachers being overcompensated? NOT! Can you support a family on $24,000 per year. I couldn't so I was forced to leave education. Just to make note that I was the states technology teacher of the year. Performance pay as is proposed will also not help the situation. If you want to compensate based on performance, you need a range of salaries, en evaluation process, and a total compensation process. Basing raises on test performance alone is poor practice. One of the best teachers I ever had the pleasure of working with never had high scoring students. The fact is most of her students were not even proficient. These were students with disabilities and could not have performed to a higher level than she was able to achieve with them. I guess that these individuals don't deserve compensation though because their students score low. Give me a break.

1/02/2008 1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess in response to the previous comment, I would like to see ongoing money dedicated to go to teacher pay on the base salary rather than just given in the WPU. We have all seen that the attempt to do that last year failed because it was not ongoing and many districts just called it a bonus and gave it out. That is what happened here where my children go to school. Is this something that could be looked into? I think that would help in getting more teachers. My daughter was one of the unfortunate students that spent the first half of the year with substitutes and unqualified teachers because the district could not find anyone willing to take the position. I think that has been one of the worst experiences she has gone through. I think we would all be supportive of increasing teacher pay to attract more people to the profession.

1/17/2008 8:46 AM  

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