Together Means Fair: Utah Teacher Raises Linked With Vouchers
By: Annette Croucher, SPED Teacher, UEA Advanced Policy Ambassador 2022-2023
As a UEA Advanced Policy Ambassador, I feel a deeper drive to advocate for our students, parents and our schools. Our Utah Legislators have done their Utah teachers and districts “dirty” this time. The legislators are saying that parents need more choices for their student’s education. Here in Washington County, parents have multiple options for their students to receive an education.
Now, our legislators are stating that this is a better option for all students living in Utah. This is a lie because HB215… states that “parents must waive their student’s Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) rights for special education services, as a special education teacher this alleviates all special education students from receiving this “scholarship”. The other part of this bill that has come out is if your private school has less than 150 students, the private school is not required to fingerprint and/or criminal background check their teachers or staff. If I was paying for a private school for my child, I want to know that my child is safe and that not just anyone is teaching them their academics. As a teacher this bill is a slap in the face, our legislators are telling teachers that we are not good at our jobs and that all of our schooling and training is for nothing. The State of Utah needs to wake up, unless our legislators are willing to go teach in a public school classroom, or we will continue to lose good teachers that have nothing but our students’ best interests at heart.
As a Policy Ambassador, I was able to spread my wings and become an Executive Board Member here in Washington County, Utah. Now as a UEA Advanced Policy Ambassador, I am running for the open WCEA Vice President seat on our board to help advocate even more for our teachers and our students. As educators, we all need to stand together and uplift each other throughout our days. We will continue to need to speak out against legislators that look the other way and feel they know what is best for educators. We are Utah teachers and have been trained constantly to execute an enriching curriculum that engages our students to become great citizens within our communities in our cities, counties and states. Let us do our jobs, you have entrusted state-wide universities to teach us to be amazing educators. Trust us with our students here in Utah. We know how to guide students to learn and be successful.