Debate heating up for preschool, education funding bills
(Deseret News) Some of the most active debate of the 2014 legislative session came during discussion of HB96, which would allow private firms to invest in preschool programs for at-risk students and be reimbursed by the state.
Public school technology plan has $200M price tag
(Deseret News) After two weeks of discussions, deliberations, presentations and speculation, the details of House Speaker Becky Lockhart's plan to modernize technology in schools – and its $200 million price tag – were made available Friday.
Report: School technology price tag as much as $750 million
(Salt Lake Tribune) House Speaker Becky Lockhart unveiled details of her plan to invest as much as $300 million for technology in schools Thursday, but a soon-to-be released report suggests the price tag to put devices in every Utah student’s hands might actually be much steeper.
Preschool, tech, basic Utah education funding recommended
(Salt Lake Tribune) A legislative committee is recommending a 2.5 percent boost to basic per pupil spending next school year — despite arguments from some that it won’t be enough to make much of a difference to teachers or classrooms.
Lockhart’s $300M tech push to include $50M for school wireless
(Salt Lake Tribune) Rep. Francis Gibson, R-Mapleton, said he and Lockhart are still eyeing a $300 million investment, but neither he nor Lockhart provided specifics for where the money would come from or over what period of time they would implement their plan.
Senate panel OKs bill requiring big families to pay more for schools
(Salt Lake Tribune) SB118 would limit families to two state personal income-tax exemptions, which workers can claim for themselves and their dependents. Now, families may get the exemptions for each child — a situation that has left some Utahns complaining over the years that those with the most children end up paying the least into the school system, which is largely funded through income-tax revenue.
Utah schools funding boosts don’t always reach classrooms
(Salt Lake Tribune) When lawmakers decided to boost per-pupil spending last year by 2 percent, many Utahns cheered, envisioning that cash raining on teachers and classrooms. In reality, much of that money was spoken for — by the state retirement system — long before it ever hit schools, a Salt Lake Tribune investigation has found.
Lawmakers identify $67 million in possible budget cuts
(Deseret News) House Speaker Becky Lockhart, R-Provo, said earlier Monday that "potentially" the money identified could be used to help cover the cost of her new education initiative to bring more technology into the classroom.
Teachers to lawmakers: 'Give us a voice in education policies'
(KSL) Teachers are Utah's education experts and should have an active voice in policy decisions affecting schools, they told state lawmakers Friday. The teachers called on education stakeholders to create an education plan centered on students, adding that such a plan would require "ongoing, sustainable funding" for public schools in Utah.
Utah gov seeks money for education, prisons, air quality
(Salt Lake Tribune) Gov. Gary Herbert presented his annual budget blueprint Wednesday, asking legislators to boost public education spending by about $100 more per pupil, expand the state prison in Gunnison, give more state support to colleges and provide a small raise to state employees.
Gov. Gary Herbert unveils $13.3 billion budget
(Deseret News) His budget would provide $64 million to pay for the 10,300 new students expected in the state's public schools and increase the funding mechanism for schools — the weighted pupil unit — by $61.6 million, or 2.5 percent.
Utah will have more to spend in new budget year
(Deseret News) There's going to be $206 million in new revenue to spend in the new budget year that begins July 1, 2014, plus another $132 million in surplus funds, the Governor's Office of Management and Budget announced Monday.
Evaluation ‘Toolkit’ Debuts
Leaders learn to improve teaching skills, prepare for educators for new evaluations at Sept. 21 all-day training.
Teachers: Six Ways the Common Core is Good For Students
(NEA Today Express) As the Common Core debate heats up, we’ve heard a lot from policy makers, politicians, and even TV talk show hosts about the challenges posed by the new standards and whether they’ll help or hurt education. With all the chatter, the voices of the professionals who are actually responsible for implementing the Common Core has been all but drowned out in the mainstream media.
Five Teachers Win Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards
UEA President Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh and Gov. Gary Herbert joined Arch Coal Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Paul Lang as he presented trophies, classroom plaques and checks to the winners.
NEA President: Education community shares Newtown’s grief and loss
“We join the Newtown community and our entire nation in mourning the deaths of innocent children and educators due to violence. As members of the education community, we extend our deepest sympathies to members of the AFTCT who have lost friends and colleagues. We are deeply concerned for everyone in the Newtown community and will work with the AFTCT and the Connecticut Education Association in the hours and days ahead to help them in any way we can to cope with this tragedy.”
Donations to Help Utah High School Library Destroyed by Fire
To help teachers devastated by this fire, the Utah Education Association and the High Desert UniServ joined with the UEA Children at Risk Foundation to create a special “San Juan Fire Fund.” Funds will be used to reimburse teachers for any losses not covered by insurance.
Granger High teacher honored for her dedication, determination
(Salt Lake Tribune) Her peers took notice of her dedication and determination, nominating her for the Utah Education Association Excellence in Teaching award. Carson was one of 10 teachers in the state who were recipients of $1,500 courtesy of the Arch Coal Foundation at the Superstars in Education banquet in October.
Area educators honored by UEA
(Ogden Standard-Examiner) Among the 10 winners statewide were Melissa Atwood, math teacher at Woods Cross High School, in Davis School District; and Robyn Esplin, third-grade teacher at Garland Elementary School in Box Elder School District.
At 98, she is still 'part of the action'
Although she’s been retired from education longer than most are in their careers, Dorothy Jonas continues to make regular contributions to the Utah Education Association Political Action Committee.
$25 million education budget error discovered
In a statement issued April 11, the Utah State Office of Education (USOE) announced it discovered a miscalculation in the data used by the Utah Legislature to appropriate school funding for the upcoming fiscal year. This miscalculation left a shortfall of approximately $25 million between what was appropriated and what is needed to fully fund student growth for the upcoming school year.
New study says Utahns top priorities are economy, education
(Utah Foundation) In this election year, Utahns are more confident that the state is heading in the right direction than they were two years ago. However, they are still not as confident as they were in the 2004 and 2008 elections. Their concerns about issues like jobs and the economy, public education, and healthcare remain strong.
PTA Golden Apple award winners named
(Deseret News) Each year, Utah’s PTA and television station KUED recognize outstanding educators, volunteers and school PTA groups who go above and beyond. State winners are selected from a group of nominees submitted by individual schools throughout the state.
2012 Legislative Summary
Prior to the beginning of the 2012 Utah General Legislative Session, Utah Education Association leaders identified four critical priorities: passing comprehensive employment reform (SB64), preserving collective bargaining, maintaining rights to payroll deduction of dues, and protecting orderly termination procedures. These goals were all met.
2012 Legislature: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
This week marks the midpoint of the 2012 Utah Legislative Session. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, legislators are working hard to make the changes they believe will make a difference for Utah’s students. So far, the UEA is tracking more than 120 education-related bills.
Governor Visits UEA Board Meeting
The Governor began his comments to the Board by expressing his gratitude for teachers and the work they do across the state. He also said he believes the UEA and public education have a much stronger voice now than in recent years, a fact he attributes “in large part to the efforts of Sharon and those from the UEA who are reaching out” to business and political leaders.
Bingham High chemistry teacher wins statewide honor
(Salt Lake Tribune) In her 19th year in education, Brown has won the prestigious Excellence in Teaching award, a statewide honor given each year to 10 outstanding educators by the Utah Education Association. Brown won $1,500 from the UEA and partner Arch Coal Foundation.
NEA’s ‘Priority Schools Campaign’ addresses needs at SLC school
In May and August 2011, leaders from the Salt Lake Teachers Association (SLTA) and the Utah Education Association (UEA) met with administrators and teachers at Salt Lake’s Glendale Middle School to discuss the school’s needs and how to improve student outcomes at the consistently low-performing school. They were joined by experts from the National Education Association (NEA).
‘Orderly Termination Act’ Changes Considered
Under terms of the proposed legislation, individual school boards would be required to establish employment policies and procedures, which “may be subject to negotiation with employees or their associations as determined by each board.”
Arch Coal to Sponsor ‘Excellence in Teaching’ Awards
The UEA is pleased to announce a partnership with the Arch Coal Foundation to sponsor the “Excellence in Teaching” awards. The awards are presented each year to 10 Utah public school teachers whose efforts in the classroom have significantly impacted the life of an individual child or group of children.
Back to the Table in Ogden!
In a letter to all Ogden City School District employees, newly appointed Supt. Brad Smith said the District and OEA “will engage in interest-based negotiations for the 2012-13 school year.” In addition, he said the District and OEA bargaining teams “will immediately explore and shortly commence joint training in interest-based negotiations.”
Are teachers underpaid? Half of Utahns think so
(Salt Lake Tribune) Exactly half of Utah residents believe public school teachers in the state are paid too little, according to a Salt Lake Tribune poll. Forty-one percent think teachers are paid “about right” and 6 percent think the pay is too high. Women were much more likely than men to rate teachers as underpaid, with 68 percent saying the pay is too little compared with 31 percent of men.
Proposals Target UEA/Public Schools
“Not since the voucher battle in 2007 has public education faced so many attacks. The actions being studied by the Education Interim Committee are part of a concerted national effort to privatize our public schools. Our teachers should be treated with dignity and respect, yet these proposals are clearly directed at silencing the voice of teachers and weakening their association.”
Educator Evaluation Standards Tentatively Set
(KCPW) As local school districts work to put together new state mandated teacher evaluation committees, the State Board of Education recently approved preliminary evaluation standards for educators and administrators across the state.
Ogden teachers rally over contract ultimatum
(Standard-Examiner) District teachers, with their representatives and supporters wearing red T-shirts to show solidarity, on Thursday rallied at Liberty Park, then walked along Monroe Boulevard to district offices to express righteous indignation with a new Ogden School District teachers’ contract.
Ogden teachers attack new contracts with rally
(KSL-TV) "I put in 20 years in this district, taught thousands of kids, made it my life, given all that I've had to make them better, and I got kicked in the face for it," Ogden Education Association President Doug Stephens told the men, women and children gathered.
Ogden teachers, other unions rally for collective bargaining
(Salt Lake Tribune) Wearing red T-shirts and waving black-and-white signs, an estimated 800 people rallied in Ogden’s Liberty Park on Thursday to protest the city school district’s decision to not negotiate a contract with its teachers union.
Ogden Teachers Rally For Wage Negotiations
(KUTV-2 News) Last fall, the Ogden Board of Education and the Ogden Education Association (OEA) reached an impasse in 2010-11 contract negotiations for wages, benefits and working conditions.
Ogden teachers furious over pay raises
(ABC-4 TV) Teachers from multiple school districts were holding signs reading, teachers are not the problem, and there are two sides to a contract.
New Mobile App for Discounts
Introducing the new UEA/Access My Deals Mobile application! All the great deals available only to UEA members are now on your phone!
Teacher Pay Still Losing Ground
(NEA Today) According to a new report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), public school teachers in 2010 earned about 12 percent less than comparable workers – a pay gap that’s been persistent for the past two decades and that accelerated between 1996 and 2000, an economic boom time for other workers.
Watson replaces McCoy as UEA General Counsel
UEA General Counsel Michael McCoy retired in April after nearly four decades representing teachers. He is succeeded by local employment law attorney Tracey M. Watson.
Press Release: Smithfield Educators Receive $5,000 Grant
Richard Rigby and Carla Cox of Birch Creek Elementary in Smithfield, Utah have received a $5,000 Student Achievement Grant from the NEA Foundation to improve students’ mastery of technology by introducing Smart Boards and other technology in the classroom.
UEA Press Release: Teachers from around the west donate books to Utah students
Salt Lake School District Superintendent McKell Withers and Utah Education Association President Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh joined with the Cat in the Hat at an event celebrating the book donation on May 12. The two school leaders read to Kindergarten and first-grade classes while the Cat interacted with students and handed out books.
Press Release: Teacher leaders recommend overhaul of evaluation and accountability
Based on recommendations of a workgroup of NEA leaders convened by NEA President Dennis Van Roekel this spring, the NEA Board of Directors has approved for final action a policy statement that revamps teacher evaluation and accountability. The statement reflects the first broad endorsement by NEA of the need for evaluation and accountability reform.
Rally to Support American Labor
On April 2, 2011, a group of about 2,000, including several hundred educators, gathered on the steps of Utah’s Capitol to remember that dream and to stand in solidarity with working people in other states where well-funded organizations are attacking the rights for which Dr. King gave his life.
Poll: Utahns want more money for education
(Deseret News) The Legislature increased education funding by about 2.2. percent this year, and reallocated other funds in order to send a total of about $3.5 billion to schools. Lawmakers chose to fund the estimated 14,700 new students expected to enter the public education system in the fall. It's the first time new funds have been allocated for new students in three years.
UEA PRESS RELEASE: Public Education Budget
“Our legislature has demonstrated its commitment to funding public education by avoiding major budget cuts and providing for growth,” said UEA President Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh. “This budget will help educators focus on delivering a quality education without worrying about what will be cut next.”
UEA EDITORIAL: School bills don't represent Utahns
(Editorial in the Deseret News) It’s clear there are a few powerful, well-connected individuals who would much rather dismantle our neighborhood schools than improve them—with the end goal of creating more private and charter schools that serve (and benefit) only a few.
Newspaper Ad Encourages Support for Governor’s Public Ed Budget
In an open letter to Utah legislators, 14 local non-profit organizations warned that “Decreasing budgets and increasing demands are on a collision course. This cannot continue without severe implications for the future of our students and our state’s economy.”
(SL Tribune) McEntee: Teacher leaves the classroom, camps on Capitol Hill
(Salt Lake Tribune) This time last year, Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh was sitting in her second-grade classroom, lamenting a proposed $84-million funding cut to public education in Utah. This year, she’s on Capitol Hill as president of the Utah Education Association, and she’s determined to unravel fiction from fact about Utah’s neighborhood schools.
UEA Editorial: Effective teacher evaluation programs can improve schools
Some have vilified teacher associations as protectors of bad teachers. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the Utah Education Association and its local affiliates in each Utah school district are constantly seeking ways to improve teacher effectiveness and ensure a quality teacher in every classroom.
21 Utah Teachers Earn National Board Certification
(Press Release from NBPTS) As the conversation in the education arena expands from teacher quality to teacher effectiveness, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), the organization that sets and maintains the standards for teaching excellence, is pleased to announce that 21 Utah teachers achieved National Board Certification in 2010.
Teachers Unions and Education Reform
(KUER News) UEA President Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh and other guests address claims that one of the biggest obstacles to education reform is the union that protects bad teachers and prevents incentives for more highly qualified professionals.
Press Release: UEA Applauds Approval of $101 Million in Education Jobs Money
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.
U-PAC 2010 Post-Election Wrap-Up
The November 2010 election results were mixed for candidates recommended by the Utah Education Association Political Action Committee (U-PAC).
Audit report: Utah charter schools need better oversight
The report released by the Office of the Legislative Auditor General found lapses in the financial reporting processes of several schools and a need for better fiscal policies and enforcement by the State Charter School Board.
Speaker says collaboration leads to school success
Alan Blankstein, who authored Failure Is Not an Option: Six Principles That Guide Student Achievement in High-Performing Schools, delivered a keynote address about collaboration at the Utah Education Association’s annual convention Friday in Sandy.
Herbert, Corroon talk to teachers after dual UEA endorsement
Gov. Gary Herbert wants to help fund schools by growing the economy. His opponent, Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon, wants to reexamine the state’s tax structure, use of school buildings, limit corporate incentives and impose limitations on how much money lawmakers may transfer. School funding was one of the main topics both candidates discussed in front of hundreds of educators at the Utah Education Association’s (UEA) annual convention Thursday.
Teachers Learn About Perils of Social Media
The largest teachers’ union in the state wrapped up its two-day annual convention today at the South Towne Expo Center. KCPW’s Elizabeth Ziegler attended one of the 41 workshops offered. This one was aimed at teaching teachers how to avoid problems on social networking sites.
Teachers push quality public education at annual convention
The theme for this year's conference is "Speak for Tomorrow Today," a phrase Gallagher-Fishbaugh hopes will encourage everyone to advocate for fair funding for Utah's public schools.
"We are asking for the citizens of our state to recommit to making quality public schools for every child," says Gallagher-Fishbaugh.