Utah support grows for higher pay for teachers

Earlier I noted what appears to be support from Utah State Board of Education member Tim Beagley for increasing teacher pay. Here’s an editorial from BYU.net, a feature of Brigham Young University, which tends to support the idea. When the conservative end of Utah politics pushes for more money for teachers, can teacher pay raises be far behind? It’s a situation worth watching.

Utah once led the nation in education attainment, and that lead made it an interesting candidate for a tech boom. Rapid growth in the state in the past 15 years led to entirely new problems, including a slow erosion of the strength of the public schools. Utah stumbled. Watching attempts to recover will be interesting. The demographics of the state in the past made Utah examples inapplicable to other states or cities to some policy makers, but the growth made Utah more diverse. It’s worth watching to see if we can learn from Utah’s experience and experiments.

A technology-literate state school board — I also discovered that another member of the Utah board has been blogging for much longer than Mr. Beagley: Tom Gregory has a blog, alt-tag.com. The board has 15 members. I wonder whether other states have a higher percentage of members who have taken to blogging — do you know of any in your state?

Update: Gregory responded at his blog, noting that only two of the Utah board are bloggers, that he knows of. The idea of public officials actually using the internet to discuss policy, seriously, is a bracing idea.

Update July 27:  Shut Up and Teach, a blog about education and policy in Arizona, points to a news story in the Tucson Daily Star that average teacher salary in the U.S. fell in the past year, while average superintendent salary rose.  Acerbic comments accompany the story.

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