UEA Priorities for the 2023 Utah Legislative Session
The following priorities are critical to supporting Utah’s educator workforce and students who have faced the disruption and stress of two years of a pandemic. We urge the legislature to recognize educators as experts on public education issues and work collaboratively.
(View this document as a printable pdf)
After fulfilling statutory education funding requirements, address the following:
- Provide at least a 6.5% increase on the WPU (est. $292 million), for a total WPU increase of at least 10% including inflation and student enrollment growth.
- Increase Paid Professional Hours for all licensed educators (est. $80 million one-time).
- Enhance funding for students at-risk of academic failure by increasing weights on the At-Risk Student line item (est. $25 million).
- Expand optional full-day kindergarten.
- Oppose schemes that funnel funds intended for public education to personal student accounts or privately-run entities where taxpayer accountability is lost.
- (View the 2023 UEA Budget Priorities)
Quality Instruction and Student Equity
- Ensure each classroom has an effective teacher by funding strategies to identify and address the root causes of Utah’s critical educator shortage.
- Invest in programs that develop a pathway for diverse educators to the teaching profession, including in rural areas or hard-to-staff subjects and schools.
- Improve teacher retention through comprehensive educator induction and mentoring programs.
- Increase resources for school safety and student social and emotional well-being such as school psychologists, social workers and counselors.
- Reduce class sizes to allow teachers the time needed to reach and inspire individual students and meet every student’s unique learning needs are met.
- Promote student attendance and family supports to ensure a strong sense of belonging and improve student academic outcomes.
- Value educators as trusted professionals to develop instructional materials based on adopted Utah core standards and local district policies.
- Eliminate the overuse of standardized testing and the misuse of student test scores to grade schools and impose consequences on schools.
- Enact a moratorium on new mandated education initiatives to recognize the overwhelming workload and stress already heaped on Utah educators.
- Protect the constitutional mandate of the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands (SITLA and SITFO) to safeguard the rights of beneficiaries, primarily Utah’s school children.