Legislator drops bill targeted by petition – January 28

The sponsor of House Bill 234 said he is dropping the bill for this session to “take the time that is needed to more fully flesh it out.” A petition to stop the bill generated more than 30,000 signers. The second UEA Educator Day on the Hill of the 2022 Legislative Session attracted about 50 educators.

Educator Day on the Hill (reported by Mike Kelley): About 50 education professionals joined members of the UEA Legislative Team early Friday morning for UEA Educator Day on the Hill at the State Capitol. Participants came from Granite, Ogden, Box Elder, Tooele, Jordan, Weber, Provo, Grand, Logan, Uintah, Duchesne, Davis, Iron, Tintic, Washington and Canyons School Districts, as well as UEA-Retired and the Utah School Employees Association. The group included teachers serving as 2022 UEA Policy Ambassadors and Advanced Policy Ambassadors.

2022 UEA Policy Ambassadors attended UEA Educator Day on the Hill

Meetings began early with instructions on how to speak to legislators, a discussion of current education issues. During floor time in the House and Senate, Educator Day participants took the opportunity to meet with their legislators. At lunchtime, Rep. Joel Briscoe and Sen. Kathleen Riebe stopped by to share information about bills.

Many attendees reported on their interactions with legislators and their experiences. “I was very nervous, but it turned out to be a great experience. I learned a lot,” said a first-time Educator Day on the Hill attendee. “Having UEA to coordinate and provide a way for us to meet our legislators is extremely helpful,” said another participant.

House Bill 234 (reported by Mike Kelley): Thank you to those who signed the petition to defeat House Bill 234, a bill that would have required Utah public school educators to publicly post curriculum materials for each day of instruction. WE WON! The bill’s sponsor today announced he is no longer pursuing the legislation this session. More than 30,000 citizens signed the UEA’s petition to stop this bill.

In a prepared statement, Rep. Jordan Teuscher said, “I strongly believe that this is a topic worth taking time to get right. As such, I have spoken with House leadership and the chair of the Rules Committee and have asked them to hold on the bill so we can take the time that is needed to more fully flesh it out. I will recommend that bill be added to the list of topics to be studied by the Education Interim Committee. This will give me time to meet with more interested parties, adapt the bill to better meet the needs of parents and teachers, and have a better forum to receive public input.”

LegTeam Insights

Your UEA Legislative Team is on the Hill every day, working behind the scenes to represent educators. Here are some insights:

Reported by Legislative Team Member Sara Jones: President Heidi Matthews, Vice President Renee Pinkney and I met with Sen. Jerry Stevenson this morning. Sen Stevenson is the co-chair of the Executive Appropriations Committee, which reviews all budget requests to create the overall state budget. We discussed UEA’s ask for 5% on the WPU (beyond inflationary costs that have already been covered) as well as our priority ask for paid, flexible educator-directed time.