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Amid Teacher Walkouts In Nearby States, One Utah School District Raises Pay


While teachers in Arizona and Colorado are on strike for better pay, Jordan School District in Salt Lake County is giving its teachers a raise.

Teachers in Jordan will receive at least a $2,500 pay bump next year, across the board. This means beginning teachers, who are currently paid $40,000, will now make $42,500 starting out.


Last year, around this time, Jordan announced an even bigger raise. Although, some mid-career teachers said it didn’t favor them because new teacher salaries saw the largest jump overall, nearly $7,000. This time around it’s all evened out.


Something to watch for will be how nearby districts respond. Jordan was the first to announce a pay raise in last year but that decision triggered a domino effect. Districts up and down the Wasatch front bumped up salary too, which leveled out the playing field.


How is Jordan paying for a raise like this? It’s a mix of increased state funding as well as additional property tax. Jordan covers some of Utah’s fastest growing cities like Herriman and South Jordan. More people means more funding.


With that in mind, districts that aren’t been seeing these type of pay raises are primarily in Utah’s rural communities where tax bases are much smaller.

Lee Hale began listening to KUER while he was teaching English at a Middle School in West Jordan (his one hour commute made for plenty of listening time). Inspired by what he heard he applied for the Kroc Fellowship at NPR headquarters in DC and to his surprise, he got it. Since then he has reported on topics ranging from TSA PreCheck to micro apartments in overcrowded cities to the various ways zoo animals stay cool in the summer heat. But, his primary focus has always been education and he returns to Utah to cover the same schools he was teaching in not long ago. Lee is a graduate of Brigham Young University and is also fascinated with the way religion intersects with the culture and communities of the Beehive State. He hopes to tell stories that accurately reflect the beliefs that Utahns hold dear.
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