On Friday January 20, 2023, the Utah State House of Representatives voted to pass HB215, also know as Utah Fits All. I was one of 54 House members who voted in favor of the bill. The Senate is expected to take up the bill this week and the Governor is expected to sign it. This bill has broad positive impacts for students, families, and teachers in the State of Utah. A few highlights:
1. $200 million for teacher raises. Utah's teachers will receive a $4,200 raise plus an additional $1,800 increase in paid benefits, totaling $6,000 for Utah's district and charter school teachers.
2. A new scholarship will be available to approximately 5,000 of Utah's 675,000 students (about 4 students in each school). The scholarship prioritizes low income students, and provides funds for those students and their parents to pursue alternative education options directed by the family.
This student scholarship, also referred to an education savings account, is not unique to Utah. Arizona and Florida have led the country and Iowa just signed its education savings accounts into law this week. South Carolina, Oklahoma, and Ohio are working on legislation, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The Utah State Legislature supports Utah students, teachers, school districts, and charter schools. You might be surprised to know that this year, in addition to the $200 million allocated to teacher raises, it is expected that there will be hundreds of millions of dollars of additional funds going to public education. This session, the Utah State Legislature will commit more funds to education than at any time in our history.
I am for education. I am for schools. I am for teachers, I am for students, and I am for families. If you would like to learn more about the bill, below are two helpful summaries.