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UEA Report on the 2020 Utah Legislature General Session

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WEEK FIVE: 

2020 WEEK IN REVIEW: February 24-28


Aspiring educators from Westminster College
were among more than 100 attending EDOH

More than 1,500 educators and education supporters gathered at the Capitol February 28 as part of UEA’s Education Day of Action, asking legislators to invest in students. The event followed the year’s largest attendance at a UEA Educator Day on the Hill. “Legislators definitely heard us loud and clear this week,” said UEA Director of Communications Mike Kelley following the events.

A proposal for the governor to appoint state school board members was held in committee and a one-year hiatus on school grades passed the Senate. Other bills moving forward included expansion of program rewarding teachers based on test scores, truancy clarifications, Teacher Salary Supplement adjustments and a new civics education engagement project.

At 81, the number of UEA-tracked bills at the end of WEEK FIVE is down slightly from 85 last year. The UEA was tracking 94 bills at the same time in 2018, 108 in 2017 and about 120 in 2016.

Hundreds gather at UEA Education Day of Action asking legislature to invest in students

Chants of “students first” and “start with six” filled the Capitol Rotunda as teachers and education supporters converged on the Utah State Capitol as part of the UEA Education Day of Action. The Utah Highway Patrol estimated the crowd at more than 1,500 at one point. The Day of Action was held to reinforce support for the things Utah teachers know will help their students succeed and showcase key areas where investments will lead to student success. Legislators were invited to join teachers for lunch, which several did.




The Salt Lake Education Association hosted a “Walk for Students” the same day. Participants in this event met at the at the Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building in downtown Salt Lake City then marched up State Street to the Capitol where they joined the UEA Education Day of Action.


Activities at Education Day of Action included a
photo booth for sharing on social media.
“Each and every one of us is here for our students today,” said Matthews. “As a teacher, I always encourage my students that in writing the story of their lives – don’t let anyone else hold the pen. Malala reminds us of our own power: ‘One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.’ Thank you for what you do every day to change lives – and for being here today to shine a spotlight on the critical long term and immediate education investments our students need to thrive.”

Others speaking to participants during the day included UEA Vice President Renee Pinkney, Salt Lake Education Association President James Tobler, Granite Education Association President Mike McDonough, Glendale Middle School health teacher Chelsea Acosta, Meadowlark Elementary sixth-grade teacher John Arthur, Innovations High social studies teacher Franz Villate, West Kearns Elementary School sixth-grade teacher C.J. Gebhardt, Beehive Elementary School sixth-grade teacher Caren Burns and Woodrow Wilson Elementary School resource teacher Taylor Layton. Senate President J. Stuart Adams also stopped by to thank teachers for all they do and for their involvement in the process, as did Senators Derek Kitchen, Luz Escamilla and Kathleen Riebe.

Biggest attendance of the year at Educator Day on the Hill


Rep. Rex. Shipp meets with Iron Education Association
members outside the House of Representatives.
More than 100 teachers from Grand County to Washington County to Logan School Districts and everywhere in between came to share classroom experiences with their legislators. Participants this week also included representatives from the Utah School Employees Association, UEA-Retired and education students from Westminster college. At least a quarter of the participants indicated they were attending for the first time.

UEA Legislative Team members provided details about the lobbying process and issues of interest during an early morning briefing. After the briefing, some of the teachers helped with refreshments provided by the UEA in the House and Senate break rooms, others met with legislators and participated in the lawmaking process. At lunchtime, attendees participated in the Education Day of Action in the Capitol Rotunda (see above).


If you are attending Educator Day on the Hill for the first time, raise your hand!

Proposal for governor to appoint state school board members held in committee

HJR13: Proposal to Amend Utah Constitution - State Board of Education would place on the November ballot a change to the Utah Constitution that members of the state board of education would be appointed by the Governor rather than elected. After discussion and public comment, the House Education Committee voted to hold the bill. State school board elections will become partisan beginning this fall.

One-year hiatus on school grades passes Senate

SB119 (1st sub.): School Accountability Amendments provides that for the 2018-19 school year the State Board of Education is not required to publish a single letter grade for schools. Because of concerns with widespread problems that occurred during 2019 RISE student testing, in the fall UEA asked the Board to seek “statutory flexibility” from having to publish school letter grades. The Board voted to pursue that action and SB119 is a result of that vote. It passed the Senate unanimously and now goes to the House for consideration. The UEA supports elimination of school grading as proposed in another bill, HB175: Education Accountability Amendments, which passed the House unanimously and was assigned by the Senate to the Government Operations and Political Subdivisions Committee.

Bill to expand program rewarding teachers for test scores moves forward

HB107 (2nd sub.): Effective Teachers in High Poverty Schools Incentive Program Amendments expands an existing program, making first, second and third grade teachers eligible for an existing salary bonus program based on student test scores. The UEA opposes the bill because it uses a student test score to reward a few teachers rather than investing in instructional coaches, paraeducators, counselors or librarians to create effective instruction and student support throughout an entire school. It passed the Senate Education Committee unanimously and now goes to the full Senate.

Other Bills of Interest: Truancy, Teacher Salary Supplement and Civics Education

HB14 (2nd sub.): School Absenteeism and Truancy Amendments establishes which absences from school are considered in determining if a minor is truant; replaces ages to which certain provisions related to truancy apply with grade levels to which the provisions apply; and limits the conditions under which a school district or charter school may impose administrative penalties on a school-age child who is truant. The UEA supports this bill. It passed the Senate unanimously and now goes back to the House to concur with an amendment.

HB77: Education Funding Amendments would cap the “WPU value rate,” which was created as part of the TSSA program, at 4%. The WPU value rate provides that for every 1% increase in the WPU there would be a corresponding increase in local property tax rates to be used for equalization efforts. It passed the House and the Senate Education Committee unanimously and now goes to the full Senate.


Teachers helped with refreshments provided
in the House and Senate break rooms
HB141: Educator Salary Incentive Program Amendments allows the Utah State Board of Education flexibility in funding the Teacher Salary Supplement program if more teachers apply and are approved than is funded by legislative appropriation. It also allows school social workers licensed by DOPL and not USBE to qualify for the educator salary adjustment money. It passed the Senate Education Committee unanimously and now goes to the full Senate.

HB241 (1st sub.): School Mental Health Funding Amendments lowers the mandatory school enrollment age to five years but maintains a parent’s right to not enroll their child in kindergarten. The bill also requires a local school board to provide a kindergarten syllabus to families who choose not to enroll their child in kindergarten so parents are aware of the competencies children need to be prepared for first grade. The UEA supports this bill. The House Education Committee elected to hold the bill on a vote of 5-4.

HB289: Public Education Retirement Amendments provides an exception to the limitation provisions for calculating the final average salary employees of a local education agency in the Utah Retirement System. It provides that the limitation for calculating the final average salary of a member employed by a local education agency may be exceeded if the member has moved to a new position at the same local education agency due to a program need or the percentage increase is due to a negotiated increase for a group of members that includes the member. The UEA supports this bill. It passed the House Retirement and Independent Entities Committee on a vote of 6-1 and now goes to the full House.

HB334: Civics Education Amendments creates a pilot program to have a civics engagement project as part of a graduation requirement. It also repeals the requirement of a basic civics test for a graduation requirement. The UEA supports this bill. It passed the House on a vote of 61-4 and now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Education ‘Policy Ambassadors’ share lobbying experiences

Nineteen teachers volunteered to become 2020 UEA Policy Ambassadors. These teachers received training from the UEA Legislative Team and have agreed to participate in UEA Educator Day on the Hill, engage with their legislators and share their experiences with UEA members. Here are excerpts from this week’s new submissions...


  • Katharine McGinn (far right) is one of nineteen
    2020 UEA Policy Ambassadors
    Standing in the Trenches While My Students Lose Ground
    – by UEA Policy Ambassador Patricia Shay, school counselor at West Lake STEM Junior High School in Granite School District “We talk and talk about ‘closing the gap’ for students and forget to address a greater gap – the gap between the decisions made at the Capitol and the students’ needs that we know well. As an Ambassador, I had the opportunity to meet with state senators and representatives. Our conversations, awkward at the beginning, went from ‘I know: educators want more money’ to ‘Why is this such a big deal for the students?’ "As we sat down and exchanged contact information, we restored the channels between the ones who ‘understand by encountering the needs of kids’ and the ones creating laws to address them. As we collaborated, we started indeed not only to close the gap but to move up and out of our trenches to find allies."…read the full article from Patricia Shay

  • We All Care but There Are a Few More Steps – by UEA Policy Ambassador Katharine McGinn, sixth-grade teacher at Ecker Hill Middle School in Park City School District “Mark Twain writes in A Tramp Abroad, “That's the difference between governments and individuals. Governments don't care, individuals do.” Twain was traveling by glacier to Switzerland and complaining about European infrastructure when he wrote this line, so I am taking it completely out of context, but this quote resonates with me because it gives me the starting point for traveling to the capitol to speak to our legislators. “We, the UEA and the Utah legislature, are made up of individuals and we all care. The idea we all care about the students of Utah becomes the common ground that can change policy in Utah. Getting to that starting point and finding common ground is difficult in today’s political climate but Educator Day on the Hill is a great way to start making connections, building relationships and working with others who all care about the future of the students in our public schools”…read the full article from Katharine McGinn


Hundreds gather asking legislature to invest in students – February 28, 2020

UEA Education Day of Action

Chants of “students first” and “start with six” filled the Capitol Rotunda as teachers and education supporters converged on the Utah State Capitol as part of the UEA Education Day of Action. The Utah Highway Patrol estimated the crowd at more than 1,500 at one point. The Day of Action was held to reinforce support for the things Utah teachers know will help their students succeed and showcase key areas where investments will lead to student success. Legislators were invited to join teachers for lunch, which several did.

“Over the past five years, the Utah legislature has made progress in returning public education funding to the level it was prior to the significant declines of 2008-2015,” said UEA President Heidi Matthews as she addressed the group. “We acknowledge and thank our legislators for this funding effort. But despite these efforts, our students continue to face significant challenges. As you will see on the tables here in the Rotunda today, we propose a long-term funding focus on four major areas.” Information tables around the Capitol Rotunda contained information about the importance of investments in: 1) Individualized Student Attention; 2) Addressing the Teacher Shortage; 3) Student Equity; and 4) Student Health and Safety, she explained.

Senate President J. Stuart Adams stopped by to thank teachers for all they do and for their involvement in the process. “We are working hard to get more money for education,” he said. Also making remarks at the event were Senators Derek KitchenLuz Escamilla and  Kathleen Riebe. “I know the effort it takes to come here on a Friday after a long week of teaching,” said Sen. Riebe, who is also a teacher Granite Education Association member. “Keep up the good work.”


Activities at Education Day of Action included a
photo booth for sharing on social media.
Others speaking to participants during the day included UEA Vice President Renee Pinkney, Salt Lake Education Association President James Tobler, Granite Education Association President Mike McDonough, Glendale Middle School health teacher Chelsea Acosta, Meadowlark Elementary sixth-grade teacher John Arthur, Innovations High social studies teacher Franz Villate, West Kearns Elementary School sixth-grade teacher C.J. Gebhardt, Beehive Elementary School sixth-grade teacher Caren Burns and Woodrow Wilson Elementary School resource teacher Taylor Layton.

UEA Vice President Renee Pinkney stressed that legislators must ‘start with 6’ percent on the WPU (basic per-student funding) this year in order “to end the teacher exodus out of our public schools that has led to a critical ? shortage? of highly qualified teachers in our classrooms?….Our legislators need to hear us loud and clear…start with six,” she said, leading a chant.

“Each and every one of us is here for our students today,” said Matthews. “As a teacher, I always encourage my students that in writing the story of their lives – don’t let anyone else hold the pen. Malala reminds us of our own power: ‘One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.’ Thank you for what you do every day to change lives – and for being here today to shine a spotlight on the critical long term and immediate education investments our students need to thrive.”

Salt Lake Teachers ‘Walk for Students’

The Salt Lake Education Association hosted a “Walk for Students” the same day. Participants in this event met at the at the Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building in downtown Salt Lake City then marched up State Street to the Capitol where they joined the UEA Education Day of Action.




Biggest attendance of the year at Educator Day on the Hill – February 28, 2020


Rep. Rex. Shipp meets with Iron Education Association
members outside the House of Representatives.
Educator Day on the Hill (reported by Mike Kelley): More than 100 teachers from Grand County to Washington County to Logan School Districts and everywhere in between came to share classroom experiences with their representatives. Participants this week also included representatives from the Utah School Employees Association, UEA-Retired and education students from Westminster college. At least a quarter of the participants indicated they were attending for the first time.

UEA Legislative Team members provided details about the lobbying process and issues of interest during an early morning briefing. After the briefing, some of the teachers helped with refreshments provided by the UEA in the House and Senate break rooms, others met with legislators and participated in the lawmaking process.

At lunchtime, attendees participated in the Education Day of Action in the Capitol Rotunda (see above).


Teachers helped with refreshments provided
in the House and Senate break rooms
House Floor (reported by Mike Kelley): HB108: Medical Specialists in Public Schools would permit districts to have separate salary schedules for employees who provide education related medical services. During discussion, it was pointed out that when a school district can already do this without legislation. The bill passed the House on a vote of 41-29 and now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Senate Floor (reported by Mike Kelley): HB14 (2nd sub.): School Absenteeism and Truancy Amendments establishes which absences from school are considered in determining if a minor is truant; replaces ages to which certain provisions related to truancy apply with grade levels to which the provisions apply; and limits the conditions under which a school district or charter school may impose administrative penalties on a school-age child who is truant. The UEA supports this bill. It passed unanimously and now goes back to the House to concur with an amendment.


If you are attending Educator Day on the Hill for the first time, raise your hand!


Proposal for governor appoint state school board members held in committee – February 27, 2019

House Education Committee (reported by Sara Jones): Two bills tracked by UEA were discussed by the House Education Committee today.

HJR13: Proposal to Amend Utah Constitution - State Board of Education was presented by Rep. Melissa Ballard. The resolution would place on the November ballot a change to the Utah Constitution that members of the state board of education would be appointed rather than elected. Chase Clyde, speaking for UEA, stated that UEA opposes the change and supports direct, non-partisan elections. After committee discussion and public comment, Rep. Ballard made a motion to hold her bill. She said she wanted to see how voters respond this November to the new process for partisan school board elections and then determine whether the public would prefer to have the governor make appointments. The bill was held in committee.

Rep. Val Peterson presented HB392 (1st Sub): Early Warning Program Amendments. The bill reauthorizes for two more years a pilot program for a student intervention “early warning system” and requests $125,000 in one-time money to continue the program. The bill passed unanimously.

House Floor (reported by Mike Kelley): Five UEA-tracked bills passed the House:

SB21: Education Amendments removes language requiring qualified teachers to submit an annual application for the through the Teacher Salary Supplement Program provided their situation doesn’t change. It also removes a requirement in the Educational Improvement Opportunities Outside of the Regular School Day Grant Program that matching funds be private. In addition, the bill amends a definition regarding a waiver of immunity related to sexual battery and sexual assault against a student under certain conditions. It passed unanimously. The UEA supports this bill.

SB79: Regional Education Service Agencies changes existing Regional Service Centers to Regional Education Service Agencies, giving them a status similar to districts. For example, they would now be allowed to receive grants and manage programs that currently only flow to districts and charter schools. It passed unanimously. The UEA supports this bill.

HB171 (2nd sub.): School Threat Amendments creates a new category of misdemeanor crime of threats against pre-K-12 schools. It passed unanimously.

HB334: Civics Education Amendments creates a pilot program to have a civics engagement project as part of a graduation requirement. It also repeals the requirement of a basic civics test for a graduation requirement. The UEA supports this bill. It passed on a vote of 61-4.

HB336: Concurrent Enrollment Certificate Pilot creates different levels for levels for concurrent enrollment students: the LAUNCH certificate and DISCOVER breadth certificate, awarded by the State Board of Education (state board) to qualifying students; the TRANSFORM general education certificate, awarded by an institution of higher education to a qualifying student; the TRANSFORM CTE institutional credential, awarded by the state board institution of higher education, or technical college to a qualifying student; and the two-year PRIME pilot program, to expand access to concurrent enrollment and career and technical education certifications. The program would be a pilot in six schools to start. The UEA supports this bill. It passed unanimously.


UEA Policy Ambassador Message – February 27, 2020


Patricia Shay, here meeting with Rep. Elizabeth Weight,
is one of nineteen 
2020 UEA Policy Ambassadors
Nineteen teachers volunteered to become 2020 UEA Policy Ambassadors. These teachers received training from the UEA Legislative Team and have agreed to participate in UEA Educator Day on the Hill, engage with their legislators and share their experiences with UEA members. Here is an excerpt from a new submission...

Standing in the Trenches While My Students Lose Ground – Legislative post by UEA Policy Ambassador Patricia Shay

Submitted by UEA Policy Ambassador Patricia Shay, school counselor at West Lake STEM Junior High School in Granite School District

“We talk and talk about ‘closing the gap’ for students and forget to address a greater gap – the gap between the decisions made at the Capitol and the students’ needs that we know well.

"As an Ambassador, I had the opportunity to meet with state senators and representatives. Our conversations, awkward at the beginning, went from ‘I know: educators want more money’ to ‘Why is this such a big deal for the students?’

"As we sat down and exchanged contact information, we restored the channels between the ones who ‘understand by encountering the needs of kids’ and the ones creating laws to address them. As we collaborated, we started indeed not only to close the gap but to move up and out of our trenches to find allies."


Four bills unanimously pass Senate Ed Committee – February 26, 2020

Senate Education Committee (reported by Sara Jones): One Senate bill and three House bills were heard in Senate Education Committee today. All passed the committee unanimously.

SB166: Student Data Privacy Amendments clarifies several provisions related to student data, including reporting of law enforcement incidents on school grounds and data shared by third-party contractors.

HB77: Education Funding Amendments would cap the “WPU value rate,” which was created as part of the TSSA program, at 4%. The WPU value rate provides that for every 1% increase in the WPU there would be a corresponding increase in local property tax rates to be used for equalization efforts.

HB107 (2nd sub.): Effective Teachers in High Poverty Schools Incentive Program Amendments expands an existing program, making first, second and third grade teachers eligible for an existing salary bonus program based on student test scores. The UEA opposes the bill because it uses a student test score to reward a few teachers rather than investing in instructional coaches, paraeducators, counselors or librarians to create effective instruction and student support throughout an entire school.

HB141: Educator Salary Incentive Program Amendments allows the Utah State Board of Education flexibility in funding the Teacher Salary Supplement program if more teachers apply and are approved than is funded by legislative appropriation. It also allows school social workers licensed by DOPL and not USBE to qualify for the educator salary adjustment money.

House Retirement and Independent Entities CommitteeHB289: Public Education Retirement Amendments provides an exception to the limitation provisions for calculating the final average salary employees of a local education agency in the Utah Retirement System. It provides that the limitation for calculating the final average salary of a member employed by a local education agency may be exceeded if: the member has moved to a new position at the same local education agency due to a program need or the percentage increase is due to a negotiated increase for a group of members that includes the member. The UEA supports this bill. It passed the committee on a vote of 6-1 and now goes to the full House.

House Floor (reported by Mike Kelley): HB236 (1st sub.): Safe School Route Evaluations would have the school traffic safety committees submit child access routing plans to UDOT, municipal and county highway authorities and coordinate communications between these authorities. The bill passed the House on a vote of 49-22 and now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Senate Floor (reported by Mike Kelley): SB73: Reading Assessment Expansion Amendments seeks an additional $1.5 million to expand Acadience (formerly DIBELS) assessment currently required in grades 1-3 to grades 1-6. It passed unanimously and now goes to the House for consideration.


UEA Policy Ambassador Message – February 26, 2020


Katharine McGinn (far right) is one of nineteen
2020 UEA Policy Ambassadors
Nineteen teachers volunteered to become 2020 UEA Policy Ambassadors. These teachers received training from the UEA Legislative Team and have agreed to participate in UEA Educator Day on the Hill, engage with their legislators and share their experiences with UEA members. Here is an excerpt from a new submission...

We All Care but There Are a Few More Steps – Legislative post by UEA Policy Ambassador Katharine McGinn

Submitted by UEA Policy Ambassador Katharine McGinn, sixth-grade teacher at Ecker Hill Middle School in Park City School District

“Mark Twain writes in A Tramp Abroad, “That's the difference between governments and individuals. Governments don't care, individuals do.” Twain was traveling by glacier to Switzerland and complaining about European infrastructure when he wrote this line, so I am taking it completely out of context, but this quote resonates with me because it gives me the starting point for traveling to the capitol to speak to our legislators.

“We, the UEA and the Utah legislature, are made up of individuals and we all care. The idea we all care about the students of Utah becomes the common ground that can change policy in Utah. Getting to that starting point and finding common ground is difficult in today’s political climate but Educator Day on the Hill is a great way to start making connections, building relationships and working with others who all care about the future of the students in our public schools…”


One-year hiatus on school grades passes Senate, moves to House – February 25, 2020

Senate Education Committee (reported by Sara Jones): HB114 (3rd sub.): Early Learning Training and Assessment Amendments was presented by Rep. Steve Waldrip. The bill creates a comprehensive program targeting early grades literacy and math and requests $10 million in funding. The program includes a competitive grant program for professional learning, a qualifying grant program for job-embedded coaching, establishes a math benchmark assessment for early grades and a literacy preparation assessment for elementary teacher preparation programs. There was extensive committee and public discussion about the bill. Sen. Lincoln Fillmore spoke against the bill stating that he feels “I’m the only person that takes local control seriously here” and that this program won’t get the same results as the pilot program in Davis because it mandates how districts spend money instead of letting them prioritize for themselves. The bill passed on a vote of 5-1.

Sen. Kathleen Riebe presented SB136: Healthy Lifestyles Revisions. She began her presentation with a personal story of assault and how she didn’t understand that she had not done anything wrong which highlights the need for young people to understand both consent and refusal skills. The bill clarifies curriculum requirements about healthy relationships, refusal skills, and recognizing sexual assault as well as eliminating the current prohibition on teaching the “advocacy or encouragement” of contraception. Sen Riebe stated that her goal with the bill is to decrease the number of kids facing sexual assault and getting sexually transmitted diseases. There were no questions from the committee but there was extensive public comment. The bill was held in committee for interim study.

SB137 (1st sub.): Partnerships for Student Success Program Amendments passed the committee unanimously. The bill makes a technical change allowing the Utah State Board of Education to evaluate the Partnerships for Student Success program internally rather than using an external evaluator. The UEA supports this bill.

House Education Committee (reported by Sara Jones): Two House bills were debated today for the first time. Three bills from the Senate were all passed by the committee and now move to the full House for consideration:

Rep. Steve Eliason presented HB323 (1st sub.): School Mental Health Funding Amendments. The bill creates a $500,000 grant program for LEAs to opt-in to a program providing a mental health screening for students. In participating LEAs, parents must opt-in their child for the screening and LEAs must notify parents of the screening results. If an intervention is indicated and able to be provided by the LEA, parents must provide their consent. Screening data would be prohibited from becoming part of a student’s school record. The bill passed on a vote of 5-4.

HB241 (1st sub.): School Mental Health Funding Amendments was presented by Rep. LaWanna Shurtliff. The bill lowers the age for mandatory school enrollment to 5 years old but maintains a parent’s right to not enroll their child in kindergarten. The bill also requires a local school board to provide a kindergarten syllabus to families who choose not to enroll their child in kindergarten so parents are aware of the competencies children need to be prepared for first grade. Rep Shurtliff stated that the idea for this legislation began last fall when she met with teachers in the Ogden-Weber UniServ and heard from many teachers about the need to help students be better prepared to enter first grade. The Utah State Board of Education clarified that kindergarten enrollment across the state is about 93% but student attendance is low because it is not mandatory. The UEA supports this bill. The committee elected to hold the bill on a vote of 5-4.

SB93 (1st sub.): Math and Science Opportunities for Students and Teachers requests an additional $4.8 million to expand the USTAR program and changes the name to the Math and Science Opportunities for Students and Teachers (MOST) program. The MOST program allows schools to offer expanded science and math programing for secondary students. Currently 95% of funds must go to teacher salaries and benefits. This bill expands the definition of “teacher” to “educator” to include coaches and other instructional personnel. It passed unanimously.

SB99: School Leadership Development Amendments requests $15 million for districts and charters to apply for grants to provide professional learning, training and mentoring for new principals and “aspiring” principals to improve principal leadership. It passed unanimously.

SB21: Education Amendments removes language requiring qualified teachers to submit an annual application for the through the Teacher Salary Supplement Program provided their situation doesn’t change. It also removes a requirement in the Educational Improvement Opportunities Outside of the Regular School Day Grant Program that matching funds be private. In addition, the bill amends a definition regarding a waiver of immunity related to sexual battery and sexual assault against a student under certain conditions. It passed unanimously. The UEA supports this bill.

House Floor (reported by Mike Kelley): HB236 (1st sub.): Safe School Route Evaluations would have the school traffic safety committees submit child access routing plans to UDOT, municipal and county highway authorities. They would also include recommendations for infrastructure in the plans. The authorities would then communicate back the time and cost associated with the recommendations. The bill passed the House on a vote of 49-22.

Senate Floor (reported by Mike Kelley): Three UEA-tracked bills passed the Senate unanimously and now go to the House for consideration:

SB119 (1st sub.): School Accountability Amendments provides that for the 2018-19 school year the State Board of Education is not required to publish a single letter grade for schools. Because of concerns with widespread problems that occurred during 2019 RISE student testing, in the fall UEA asked the Board to seek “statutory flexibility” from having to publish school letter grades. The Board voted to pursue that action and SB119 is a result of that vote.

SB113: Arts Program Funding Amendments provides for an annual appropriations increase for the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Elementary Arts Learning Program in certain circumstances.

SB124: American Indian and Alaskan Native Education Amendments replaces two pilot programs with an ongoing program administered by the State Board of Education consisting of a grant program to school districts and charter schools to be used to fund stipends, recruitment, retention, and professional development of teachers who teach in American Indian and Alaskan Native concentrated schools. The UEA supports this bill.


Pilot programs for concurrent enrollment and civics education pass House committee – February 24, 2020

House Education Committee (reported by Jay Blain): HB336: Concurrent Enrollment Certificate Pilot creates different levels for levels for concurrent enrollment students:

  • the LAUNCH certificate and DISCOVER breadth certificate, awarded by the State Board of Education (state board) to qualifying students;
  • the TRANSFORM general education certificate, awarded by an institution of higher education to a qualifying student;
  • the TRANSFORM CTE institutional credential, awarded by the state board institution of higher education, or technical college to a qualifying student; and
  • the two-year PRIME pilot program, to expand access to concurrent enrollment and career and technical education certifications.

The program would be a pilot in six schools to start. The UEA supports this bill. It passed the committee unanimously.

HB334: Civics Education Amendments creates a pilot program to have a civics engagement project as part of a graduation requirement. It also repeals the requirement of a basic civics test for a graduation requirement. The UEA supports this bill. It passed on a vote of 8-2 .

HB108: Medical Specialists in Public Schools would permit districts to have separate salary schedules for employees who provide education related medical services. During discussion, it was pointed out that when a school district can already do this without legislation. The bill passed on a vote of 8-2 .

HB355: Standards and Graduation Requirements Amendments allows the Utah State Board of Education to continue to set graduation requirements. It doesn’t change any requirements. The State Board would have to act to change any requirements, it does give them some latitude they don’t currently have. The meeting adjourned without taking action on the bill.

House Floor (reported by Mike Kelley): HB315: HB315: Local School Board Vacancies Amendments extends the length of time a local school board has to fill a midterm vacancy if the vacancy is due to the death of a local school board member. It passed the House unanimously and now goes to the Senate.

HB77: Education Funding Amendments would cap the “WPU value rate,” which was created as part of the TSSA program, at 4%. The WPU value rate provides that for every 1% increase in the WPU there would be a corresponding increase in local property tax rates without having to go to truth in taxation. The concern is that legislators might hesitate to increase the WPU because of the impact on local property tax. The bill passed the House and now goes to the Senate.