Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee (reported by Jay Blain): The subcommittee continued to hear reports:
- Jacob Wright from the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) presented the Governor’s education budget requests.
- Terry Shoemaker, representing school boards and superintendents, and Rick Nielson, Superintendent of Nebo School District, presented the USBA/USSA budget requests. Shoemaker reported that three school districts now offer starting salaries at or above $50,000 and they did it by going through truth-in-taxation. Three years ago, the lowest beginning salary was just over $31,000 and now it is $39,000, he said. Supt. Nielson presented the USBA/USSA ask for a 6% increase on the WPU. He gave the example of Nebo having only having the room locally to generate the money to give about 1% more on the salary schedule. This is why putting new funding on the WPU is important, he said.
- Legislative fiscal analyst Ben Leishman gave a presentation on House Bill 1, the public education base budget. He also shared a brief on agency fees for the USBE and USDB and a review of federal funds requests.
- The Utah State Board of Education provided a budget review presentation, a presentation on funding requests , a presentation on the Statewide Online Education Program and a presentation on Assessment and Accountability.
House Floor (reported by Mike Kelley): HJR2: Joint Resolution Recognizing School Bus Drivers recognizes school bus drivers for their skills, dedication, leadership, and efforts to foster student and parent relationships. In presenting the resolution, Rep. Elizabeth Weight said, “these drivers have the character and personality that give them interest in and ability to communicate with parents and students and to manage a bus full of 60 or more students while navigating various road conditions, with safety as the first priority.” The resolution passed the House unanimously and now goes to the Senate for consideration.