Lawmakers Propose Policies to Improve Teacher Retention and Recruitment

January 31, 2024

High-quality education is crucial to Utah’s ongoing success. Education has been and always will continue to be a top priority for lawmakers. In the past 10 years, the Legislature increased public education funding by $2.5 billion. Lawmakers will continue to prioritize education funding and programs that assist educators in their challenging jobs and work to better attract and maintain qualified teachers.

“Education is the cornerstone upon which the future of Utah is built and why the Legislature has doubled education spending over the last 10 years,” said President J. Stuart Adams. “Investing in education empowers future generations, enriches communities and ensures our state’s prosperity. Education is the most promising investment in the success of our society, and we’re committed to making sure our students and teachers thrive.” 

“Utah’s teachers are the best in the nation,” said Speaker Mike Schultz. “We want to keep it that way by passing policies to improve teacher retention and recruitment and make teaching a more desirable career path. Our students, teachers and future generations deserve nothing less.” 

Today, legislators gathered to discuss: 

S.B. 52 Educator Salary Amendments (Sen. Vickers, Rep. Steven Lund)

  • Expands the Educator Salary Adjustment Program to include more teachers. 

S.B. 137 Teacher Empowerment (Sen. Lincoln Fillmore, Rep. Karen Peterson)

  • Provides educators with an alternative teacher evaluation process and more options and funding for training to meet individual needs. The goal is to make sure teachers have support, training and tools to excel and be successful.

S.B. 173 Market Informed Compensation for Teachers (Sen. Lincoln Fillmore)

  • Creates the optional Excellence in Education and Leadership Supplement program to recognize teachers who go above and beyond to improve students’ outcomes by increasing salaries up to $100,000.

S.B. 159 Public School Discipline and Conduct Plans Amendments (Sen. Buxton)

  • Creates a 3-tier teacher training pilot program aimed at giving teaching training to manage behavioral issues in their classrooms. Teachers will receive compensation for every tier completed, up to $1,000 total.

H.B. 105 Tax Credit for Educator Expenses (Rep. Kera Birkeland) 

  • Increases funds available to educators for classroom supplies that educators provide to students or as part of educational services.

H.B. 221 Stipends for Future Educators (Rep. Karen Peterson, Sen. Chris Wilson)

  • Designed to encourage student teachers to finish their education by providing a stipend to those who are currently student teachers and enrolled in an educational program that leads to becoming a teacher.

H.B. 431 Teacher Retention (Rep. Candice Pierucci)

  • Creates a hotline at the Utah State Board of Education for teachers to call when facing administrative hurdles and red tape, requires school districts to provide at least three weeks of paid maternity leave, and creates the Mentoring and Supporting Teacher Excellence and Refinement Program (MASTER) – a way for local school districts to reward and pay teachers more. 

All these proposed bills are going through the legislative and budgeting processes. The bills may be tracked on the legislative website –