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Lawmakers Request 3% Hike In Per-Student Spending

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Utah lawmakers are recommending a 3% boost in per-student spending to the state’s education budget.

The Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee finalized its budget recommendations Monday afternoon. They include a 3% increase of $90 million for per-student spending, also known as the Weighted Pupil Unit.

Rep. Dan McCay, R-Riverton, co-chairs the committee and says the finalized budget recommendation also includes funding to waive teaching licensure fees.

“We recognize that this is not a major pay increase, it’s not many things that our teachers are deserving of or in need of, but we wanted to give something small,” McCay says.

The state would pay $2.6 million a year to cover the cost of those fees, which range from $20 to $75.

“As a former educator myself,” McCay said Monday, “I remember paying those fees and I remember thinking how interesting it was that I was paying my employer so that I could continue working for my employer.”

The budget panel also included 64 million dollars to account for student population growth. The Executive Appropriations Committee will consider the recommendations as it crafts a final budget proposal. Lawmakers will vote on that plan before the end of the general session. 

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