Governor Cox announced yesterday that he is making a significant teacher pay increase one of his legislative priorities. This is in connection with the Utah legislature providing an education choice program similar to the one passed in Arizona.
Last year, Governor Cox said “When teachers are making $60,000 a year to start, I will fully support vouchers. I’m all in on vouchers.” Read here “education choice,” but we understand what the Governor means.
And he confirmed that yesterday in his comments, “We have the ability to do all of these things, to help families wherever they are, to help families who want to take a different path.”
Utah Senate President Stuart Adams agrees:
“We want to prioritize funding for our most precious resource: our kids. For the vast majority who attend public schools, that means doing what we can to retain and attract the best teachers through increased pay. For other students, that may mean funding to pursue education options that meet their unique needs.”
The education choice proposal from last year and likely this year are education spending accounts, which unlike vouchers does not limit parents to tuition at a private school, but a whole host of options like online learning programs, private tutoring, microschooling, early higher education expenses, and other approved customizable learning services and materials. Parents can mix and match curricula and tutors, experts and experiences, to create a unique education program that is as unique as the student.
By increasing teacher pay and funding choice in education, the governor and legislature acknowledge the dedication and effort of Utah’s public school teachers and recognize that the public education model is not the best fit for every child.
The proposal highlighted yesterday provides money to the people who have the biggest impact on education for the children of Utah: parents and teachers.