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Utah school teachers could get $1500 bonus as 'thank you' for work during pandemic

Posted at 10:27 AM, Dec 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 15:26:21-05

SALT LAKE CITY — School teachers in Utah could soon get a $1500 bonus.

It’s part of an education funding package expected to be unveiled Wednesday.

FOX 13’s content sharing partners at the Salt Lake Tribune first reported the story.

READ SALT LAKE TRIBUNE ARTICLE: Utah teachers would get a $1,500 bonus under education plan to be unveiled Wednesday

The report indicates legislative leaders plan to propose adding $140 million to next year's budget to cover the cost.

The bonus is described as a “thank you” for educators who’ve been on the front lines working in difficult conditions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

“This is really just very kind compensation for all the extra work that we’ve been putting in to instill a sense of normalcy for these kids,” said Amber Rogers who teaches at Corner Canyon High School. “We are trying our best as well and it’s kind that the legislators are understanding that we are and that we are being seen.”

READ: Davis School District finds creative solution for teachers in quarantine

Emma Moss is a teacher in the Canyons School District and she calls the news “exciting.” She says it would help out so many teachers who’ve been struggling through the pandemic and working overtime to help students learn.

“Even though everything else has kind of had its ups and downs, education has provided a stability and continuity throughout this to help students and families,” Moss said. “And I hope that they can give back if they’re able to by passing this and giving us that bonus because it would be awesome.”

READ: Canyons School District offers rapid COVID testing to all staff

Other school employees would receive bonuses up to $1000 dollars and part-time employees would get a pro-rated bonus.

It's not the first time something like this has been pitched. A $1000 teacher bonus was discussed but abandoned during the regular legislative session.

The new proposal for a $1500 bonus as well as bonuses for other school employees is a sign that lawmakers are now feeling more optimistic about Utah’s economy.