Governor calls for ‘historic’ teacher pay increases in proposed education budget

The FY2024 budget proposed by Utah Gov. Spencer Cox includes what he is calling the largest teacher compensation increase in Utah’s history. The $200 million budget line item would provide each teacher with $6,000 compensation, about $4,600 in salary with an additional $1,400 in benefits, he said.

“This is not part of the WPU (weighted pupil unit), this is directly from the state — every single teacher, $6,000 in total compensation,” Cox said. “I want this to be the Year of the Teacher.”

In addition to the teacher pay increase, Cox announced he is proposing a 5% increase to the WPU, an additional $196 million that will allow districts to “do what they normally would do with that, including, hint, additional teacher compensation that you would normally do on top of the $6,000 package (per teacher) that we’re proposing as a state,” Cox said.

UEA President Renée Pinkney issued the following statement in response to the governor’s budget proposal:

“The Utah Education Association applauds Utah Governor Spencer Cox for making teacher salaries a top priority in his proposed budget. We also appreciate the significant ongoing investments in public education made by the governor and the Utah State Legislature in previous years, including during the height of the pandemic.

“The UEA’s vision is a safe equitable school for every child. This starts with a highly qualified educator paid a professional salary. In addition, we must solve the larger school staff and labor shortage. Ideally, investments in our school educators and staff will be made in a way that allows local school boards to direct the funding where it is most needed and appropriate for each school district.

“We look forward to working with our elected representatives this legislative session and encourage legislators to avoid distractions that will only divert our attention from the substantive issues facing our schools, our students and our dedicated school workforce.”


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