Just five of the more than 80 bills currently tracked by the UEA had votes today. The UEA Legislative Team kept busy working with legislators to support pro-education bills and to defeat bad ones, like the HB331 voucher bill that would divert public education money or create more work for educators. The House passed a bill creating a commission to determine if a trans athlete may participate in interscholastic gender-designated sports.
Senate Education Committee (reported by Sara Jones): Just one UEA-tracked bill was heard in Senate Education Committee today. HB270: Parent Access to School Data Comparison requires the Utah State Board of Education to create an online tool to compare public schools in a specific geographic region to help facilitate a parent’s selection of public school options for their children. The bill passed unanimously out of Senate Ed, having previously passed unanimously out of House Education Committee and the full House.
House Floor (reported by Mike Kelley): Four UEA-tracked bills passed the House and now go to the Senate for consideration:
- HB114: School Nursing Services Amendments creates a requirement for districts and charter schools to reduce the student to school nurse ratio from the current 1:5,000 to 1:2,000 within four years. The UEA supports this bill. It passed unanimously.
- HB273 (1st sub.): Civics Education Amendments creates a pilot program for districts and charter schools to adopt innovative civics education programs. The bill passed unanimously.
- HB315: Effective Teachers in High Poverty Schools Incentive Program Amendments clarifies that special education teachers are eligible for the Effective Teachers in High Poverty Schools Incentive Program. It passed unanimously.
- HB11 (2nd sub.): Student Eligibility in Interscholastic Activities creates a commission to determine if a trans athlete may participate in gender-designated sports in the public education system. It passed on a vote of 52-16.
Policy Ambassador Messages
In 2022, 15 educators were selected as UEA Policy Ambassadors. These teachers received training from the UEA Legislative Team and agree to engage with legislators and share their experiences with UEA members. Here is an excerpt from a new submission:
Submitted by UEA Policy Ambassador Jennifer Jenkins, kindergarten teacher and reading coach at Duchesne Elementary School in Duchesne School District
“Can you remember when you first became a teacher? I can remember the day I was hired for my first teaching position; I was ecstatic. Such a prestigious profession! I had so many ideas and couldn’t wait to get into my classroom to teach. Then, my real education began. I just wanted to teach my students, yet I felt the imposing hand of politics creeping its way into my classroom. Now that I am a more experienced and wiser educator, I understand the connection. Better yet, I know that I have a voice and the responsibility as a professional to take action for our profession. We are the experts in our classrooms…”
Upcoming Legislation to Watch
Four UEA-tracked bills are on the agenda for the House Education Committee at 8 a.m., Feb. 17:
- SB78: School Board Expansion Requirements
- HB339: Paid Teacher Preparation Days for Curriculum and Classroom Transparency
- SB127 (1st sub.): Early Literacy Outcomes Improvement
- HB302: Educational Language Services Amendments
- See the 2022 UEA Legislative Tracking Sheet for the current bills tracked by UEA.
- View all legislative happenings at UEA Under the Dome.