It’s only House and Senate floor time from here on out. The Senate unanimously passed a bill (HB396) providing flexible, educator-directed paid time for job-related duties performed outside of contract time. The House unanimously approved a significant increase in new education funding, including a 6.1% increase in the WPU. The House also voted to expand the special needs voucher program (SB62).
House Floor (reported by Mike Kelley): The following UEA-tracked bills were heard in the House:
- SB2: Public Education Budget Amendments is the primary funding bill for new public education funding. It sets the value of the WPU at $4,038 (a 6.1% increase) and funds items included in the Executive Appropriations Committee recommendations. The bill passed unanimously and now goes to the governor.
- SB244 (2nd sub.): Ethnic Studies Amendments was substituted in the House. It requires the State Board of Education to incorporate ethnic studies into the core standards for Utah public schools and requires an LEA to adopt ethnic studies instructional materials and curriculum that align with core standards. The bill passed unanimously and returns to the Senate to concur with changes.
- HCR18: Concurrent Resolution Highlighting the Importance of Supportive Networks of Adults for Child Success and Opportunity passed unanimously and now goes to the Senate.
- SB62 (4th sub.): Special Needs Opportunity Scholarship Program Amendments extends the special needs scholarship voucher program to the siblings of scholarship recipient students. It passed the House on a vote of 41-29 and returns to the Senate for consideration.
Senate Floor (reported by Mike Kelley): The following UEA-tracked bills were heard in the Senate:
- HB396 (1st sub.): Paid Professional Hours for Educators allocates $64 million for licensed educators to receive flexible, educator-directed paid time for job-related duties performed outside of contract time. This is a priority bill for the UEA. It passed unanimously and returns to the House to concur with increased funding for this bill.
- HB417 (1st sub.): Online Course Access Amendments requires the State Board of Education to use funds from an appropriation to the Statewide Online Education Program to pay an online course fee for a student attending a small school. It passed unanimously and now goes to the governor.
- HB475 (1st sub.): Use of Public Education Stabilization Account One-time Funding appropriates funding for teacher flex hours, for small district capital project fund (limited to counties of the 4th, 5th, and 6th class), and provides a general distribution to LEA’s for capital and technology on a base-plus model. The UEA supports this bill. It passed unanimously and now goes to the governor.
- 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 and goes to the governor.
- HB386 (1st sub.): Education Innovation Program creates a process for an educator to propose an innovation program to their district for approval. It passed unanimously and returns to the House for consideration.
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 aspiring educator and UEA Policy Ambassador Rebecca Packard
“When a UEA representative spoke in the Secondary Methods Seminar last semester, I knew I would become a member. Discussion before class was discouraging—basically the consensus was that the association is a great idea, but it was a big expense. True, given most teachers’ salaries, but my experience as a UEA Policy Ambassador showed me it is worth it…”
Floor Time schedule for March 3:
- House – 8 a.m. – noon, 2 – 4 p.m., 5 p.m. – as needed
- Senate – 9 a.m. – 11:50 a.m., 2 – 4 p.m., 5 p.m. – as needed
- See the 2022 UEA Legislative Tracking Sheet for the current bills tracked by UEA.
- View all legislative happenings at UEA Under the Dome.