Press Release: UEA Applauds Approval of $101 Million in Education Jobs Money

11/18/2010

Funds will support Utah schools and help the struggling economy

The Utah Education Association praises the Utah legislators who stood up for Utah students and voted in favor of accepting more than $101 million in federal funding for Utah schools. The federal education jobs money targeted for Utah will have a dual benefit of improving educational quality and boosting Utah’s economy.

“We are disheartened that some legislators elected to pit their personal ideology against Utah’s children and our flagging economy,” said UEA President Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh. “Fortunately, in the end, reason prevailed over rhetoric...and our students will be the benefactors.”

The UEA applauds Gov. Gary Herbert for supporting efforts to expedite bringing these funds to Utah once the Education Jobs Fund of 2010 was approved by Congress earlier this year. We also thank the majority of Utah legislators who recognized the severe needs of our public schools and voted in favor of the resolution approving acceptance of these much needed funds. The House voted 57-14, and the Senate 22-6 to pass the resolution.

During the past year, schools have eliminated school days, cut teacher professional development and work days, reduced salaries, laid off employees, and increased class sizes in already overcrowded classrooms due to Utah's and the nation's prolonged economic downturn.

Recognizing the positive impact these funds could have on Utah schools and our local economy, the UEA supported efforts to pass the federal legislation.

“We now encourage local school boards to use the education jobs funds as Congress intended and quickly apply it to Utah classrooms,” said Gallagher-Fishbaugh. Under the provisions of the bill, funds may be used to recall laid-off teachers and other building-level employees; to reinstate instructional days or other days lost to funding cuts; to provide educational-related services; to maintain step increases on employee salary schedules; or to bridge other school budget shortfalls.

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