The Leopard

The Arms Race

Kristi Harris, Hard News Editor

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In the past couple months, a few main school districts in Utah have been increasing the annual teacher salary. The first school district to make their intentions public was Jordan district. Their decision inspired other school districts to follow in their path. As a result, an unintentional race, Salt Lake County educators are calling the “arms race,” was started.

On March 23, 2017, Jordan School district announced that they have been saving for years to give their teachers a pay raise. For the 2,679 teachers in Jordan School District, the calculations for an appropriate raise would be from approximately $34,500 increased to $40,000. Vicki Olson, who has been teaching for 27 years, says, “The benefit that we have been told by the district is that it’s a more sustainable system.” On April 25, 2017, Jordan district got their proposal approved by The Jordan Board of Education.

The other three school districts that followed in the race are, Granite, Canyons, and Murray. They announced their participation in the public race mid-April. These three districts will increase their teacher salary to at least $40,000 annually. Granite spokesman, Ben Horsley is confident about getting the proposal signed off. “We want Granite to become the destination and school district of choice,” he said. “This pay scale will bring that in line so that we should be attracting the best teachers.” Salt Lake City school district is in the process of deciding whether or not they will give their teachers a similar pay raise. Their decision will be finalized before this school year in June.

Horsley mentions one of the goals for giving their teachers raises, attracting the best teachers. The number of qualified teachers has decreased over the years because their reward for teaching is not enough. It is not only about the pay, but it is about the teacher appreciation. Andrea Rorrer, director of the Utah Education Policy Center, says “It’s acknowledging the significance of the work that educators are doing that’s important to them.” The reason for the raise is to show teachers that they are appreciated and this will lead to an increase in time the teachers remain there. The one downfall that all the schools face is a tax increase. School board President Janice Voorhies said, “a tax increase in Jordan would be likely in the next four or five years.” One other negative side that Jordan teachers found is that their paychecks will eventually start shrinking. Something that Granite is struggling with is recovering from their $60 million withdrawal from their budget.



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5 Responses to “The Arms Race”

  1. Nick Budd on May 24th, 2017 1:37 pm

    The “Arms Race” sounds very beneficial for the education system. Hopefully this causes schools to get the most qualified teachers. Also its nice to hear teachers are getting more appreciation.


  2. Buddy McClelland on May 24th, 2017 1:48 pm

    I had no idea this was going on until I read this article and it makes me happy in way to now know that it is happening. Because now teachers can get a better pay and earn an income worthy of the work they do everyday.


  3. Wyatt Dean on May 24th, 2017 2:07 pm

    This is very good news, teachers are so underpaid for the benefit the country, they teach our children and are the future of the nation. If we keep treating our teaches like we are then soon we won’t have any teachers to pay.


  4. Sebastian on May 24th, 2017 2:19 pm

    I think this a good this to happen to teacher, there are so many teacher that I like that do deserve to get paid more. With teacher getting paid more this would make teacher stay more longer.


  5. Stephen liddle on May 25th, 2017 8:40 am

    it’s comforting to see that i’m not the only one who didn’t know this was going on. I’m glad this is happening, teachers work so hard and deal with bratty students all day. they deserve to get paid more.


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The Arms Race