How will the changes to the Educator Salary Adjustment (ESA) affect your paycheck after the recent passage of HB 215?
UEA Policy and Research Director Jay Blain answers five commonly asked questions.
Q: How much is the increase? The ESA will increase from $4,200 to $8,400, providing a $4,200 increase. The original ESA was introduced in the late 2000s, with a $2,500 increment in the first year and an additional $1,700 in the second year.
Q: Why did we hear about the amount of $6,000? $6,000 is the amount needed for districts to cover payroll costs, retirement contributions, and their share of taxes, leaving a net amount of $4,200 for the employee.
Q: Are only classroom teachers getting the ESA? No. According to the new law, the following qualify for the ESA: A person employed by a school district, charter school, or the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind who holds: (a) a license issued by the state board and a position as a: (A) classroom teacher; (B) speech pathologist; (C) librarian or media specialist; (D) preschool teacher; (E) mentor teacher; (F) teacher specialist or teacher leader; (G) guidance counselor; (H) audiologist; (I) psychologist; or (J) social worker; or (b) (i) a license issued by the Division of Professional Licensing; and (ii) a position as a social worker.
Q: When will I see the increase in my paycheck? It will appear in your first paycheck of the new school year and will be distributed across all paychecks throughout the year. It will not come as a lump sum payment.
Q: Can I lose my ESA with one unsatisfactory evaluation? No, according to SB 183, which was passed during the 2023 session, your three most recent evaluations must be unsatisfactory for your ESA to be suspended.