SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah House of Representatives voted 55-16 Monday in favor of passing the bill that will pause the state's "Test to Stay" program at schools.
Because House Bill 183 was passed by the Senate on Friday, it will now head to the desk of Gov. Spencer Cox who is expected to sign it into law.
In the future, when schools reach COVID limits, they can only move to remote learning after first appealing to the local district school board, and then being signed off on by Cox, legislative leadership in the House and Senate, and the state schools superintendent.
With the huge rise in cases during the omicron surge, many districts were unsure they would have the supplies needed to test all students. Leaders who supported the bill say it will also allow schools to more easily pivot to remote learning.
The state's largest teachers union expressed frustration with the bill last week.
"It’s such a message to send to our schools this early in the session about what extent we are going to take to help us ride out this pandemic, especially in this surge," said Heidi Matthews, president of the Utah Education Association. "It’s very frustrating to have the tools taken away that really impact our ability to keep our schools open, keep our kids safe, keep our learning going and really pay attention to our educators who are just at the breaking point."