Page Title

2019 UEA Legislative Priorities

Page Content

These priorities were developed in collaboration with hundreds of teachers across Utah. We urge policymakers to consider the following when contemplating legislation:

Education Funding

  • The UEA proposes a long-term funding focus on four major areas: 1) Individualized Student Attention; 2) Address the Teacher Shortage; 3) Student Equity; and 4) Student Health and Safety. Full implementation of these goals will require a sustained funding effort over many years.
    TO BEGIN THIS EFFORT, the UEA recommends the 2019 Legislature:
    • Fully fund student enrollment growth, including all impacted line items (est. $37 million);
    • Provide a 6.5% increase on the WPU, allowing LEAs maximum flexibility in addressing the above-referenced goal areas (est. $206 million);
    • Implement a teacher preparation scholarship incentive (est. $2 million); and
    • Initiate “Educators Rising” to support K-12 Teaching CTE Pathway (est. $350,000).
  • Modernize Utah’s flawed tax structure by establishing sustainable, long-term revenue sources to address the chronic underfunding of public education.
  • Allocate new, ongoing revenue to the WPU rather than create costly and time consuming new distribution methods (such as TSSA)
  • Fund charter schools in a manner that does not reduce neighborhood school budgets, is transparent, is equitable based on student need and provides taxpayer accountability.
  • Oppose schemes to funnel public education money to personal student accounts or privately-run entities where taxpayer accountability is lost. 

Teacher Shortage 

  • Ensure each classroom has an effective teacher by funding strategies to identify and address the root causes of Utah’s critical teacher shortage.
  • Invest in programs that develop a pipeline of educators to the teaching profession, especially in rural areas or hard-to-staff subjects and schools.
  • Maintain high standards for teacher licensure to ensure that every student has a teacher who is prepared and qualified to teach on day one.  
  • Improve teacher retention through comprehensive educator induction and mentoring programs.
  • Create incentives to diversify the teacher workforce to reflect Utah’s changing demographics.
  • Invest in educator salaries to attract the best and the brightest to remain in the teaching profession.
  • Reduce class sizes to allow teachers the time needed to reach and inspire individual students.

Education Policy

  • Increase resources for student social and emotional well-being such as school social workers and counselors, restorative justice, and trauma-informed teaching practices. 
  • Ensure every student’s unique learning needs are met by providing the resources to succeed. 
  • Strengthen accountability standards for charter and online schools consistent with neighborhood schools, including student performance, governance, educator evaluation and financial accountability.
  • Eliminate the misuse of student test scores to grade schools and impose consequences on schools.
  • Ease the overwhelming workload heaped on Utah teachers by reducing the number of education bills and limiting the number of mandated initiatives. 
  • Support direct, non-partisan election of school board members.

- Printable version of the 2019 UEA Legislative Priorities