Education | KUER 90.1

Education

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iStock.com / Ridofranz

As Utah faces an ongoing teacher shortage, a growing number of school districts are looking to bump up salaries as a way to recruit and retain educators.

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Utah System of Higher Education

Four members of Utah’s Board of Regents stepped down Friday at the board’s meeting at Snow College. Regents Teresa Theurer and Bob Marquardt had served on the board since 2008 while Dan Campbell served on the board since 2010. Student Regent Ja’Kell Larson, a University of Utah student, completed her one-year term.

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Daysha Eaton / KUER

Brigham Young University quietly announced this week that the school plans to make its Honor Code Office more transparent, signaling a change that follows a campus protest in April that garnered national attention.

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Weber State University

Almost 29,000 students are graduating this year from Utah’s eight public colleges and universities. The graduating classes for nearly all of these public institutions have grown since last year, but that doesn’t necessarily mean all have seen improvement in their graduation rates.

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Holly Vasic / KUER

Utah State University is celebrating the first graduates of its Outdoor Product Design and Development Program this week. This unique degree is launching students into careers even before they have time to put on caps and gowns.

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Rocio Hernandez / KUER

The Jordan School District is projected to gain almost 10,000 new students between 2016 and 2022, making it one of the fastest growing school districts in the state.

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Rocio Hernandez / KUER

In 2012, when Cindy Taufa moved her family to Utah to escape the growing cost of living in California, she never expected her large family to end up homeless.

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Brian Albers / KUER

After two long days of debate on tuition and student fee increases, all but two state regents voted in favor of raising costs at seven of the state’s public colleges and universities.

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Flickr Creative Commons / David Sanborn / https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidmoore326/34981348496/in/photostream/

Dixie State University’s Board of Trustees voted today in support of a proposal to cut back a student fee that funds the student newspaper, the Dixie Sun News, for the 2019-20 academic year.

Photo of University if Utah logo.
Brian Albers / KUER

The University of Utah is looking to increase tuition by 3.2 percent for the next academic year, lower than what was expected and the lowest increase that the institution has seen in two decades, university officials said Tuesday.

Rocio Hernandez / KUER

As student enrollment has increased in Utah, the Salt Lake City School District has seen thousands of students leave its schools in the past three years, Superintendent Lexi Cunningham said Thursday.

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Rocio Hernandez / KUER

Along with the state’s expanding population, Utah’s student enrollment continues to grow. But K-12 education funding is not keeping up with that growth or inflation, according to a report from a children’s advocacy organization.

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iStock.com / Davizro

The Utah State Board of Education has released a draft of new science education standards for elementary and high school students. KUER’s Rocio Hernandez spoke with Ricky Scott, the board’s science specialist, who explained that for some of these standards, it will be their first update in 17 years.

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Lee Hale / KUER

On a recent Friday, the holy day for Muslims, outside a small carpeted room on the third floor of Brigham Young University’s Wilkinson Student Center, a softly sung call to prayer.

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Courtesy Nate Salazar

Nate Salazar was sworn in as the newest board member of the Salt Lake City School District on January 8. Salazar attended Bryant Middle School and graduated from East High School in 2004. He’s currently the only minority on the board for a district where more than half of the students are minorities. He also works in Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski’s office as the associate director of community empowerment. KUER’s Rocio Hernandez spoke with Salazar about what he hopes to accomplish and why he wanted to be on the board.

iStock.com

The new report cards for Utah schools are out and they’re getting good grades from both teachers and administrators.

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BYU Photo / Abby Smith

The suicide of a 19-year-old Brigham Young University student last month sent shockwaves through the student body, causing many to ask whether the school was offering enough mental health support.

Weber State University’s newest president is a familiar face to the campus.

 

Brad Mortensen was selected on Thursday by the Utah State Board of Regents to be the university’s 13th president.

Photo of ballot.
Renee Bright / KUER

Voters resoundingly rejected a proposed gasoline tax increase to boost funding for Utah schools in Tuesday’s election, but advocates say they’re not done fighting for more money for the state’s education system.

iStock.com / Ridofranz

Last month, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert made a plea to former public school teachers to return to the profession but a new survey shows it will take more than a call to service to entice them back.

school safety hearing
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

A state school safety committee asked lawmakers on Wednesday to budget almost $100 million to improve security at schools and hire more mental health professionals.

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iStock.com / desertsolitaire

Utah’s Board of Regents is being asked by state auditors to be more rigorous in the way its members approve tuition increases at colleges statewide.

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Kelsie Moore / KUER

 

Michele Jones likes to believe she's pretty good at spotting students who are struggling.

The 41-year-old math teacher at Cyprus High School in Magna is quick to notice when homework gets sloppy or a student misses class. But with Dustin Drage, a quiet freshman with a penchant for art, drawing and doodling, there weren't the typical red flags.

Photo of University of Utah entrance sign.
Lee Hale / KUER

Jeanette Hernandez Heltman may be two years out of college, but she often gets confused for a student at Granger High School in West Valley where she works. But that's kind of the point.

Photo of Astrid Tuminez.
Lee Hale / KUER

The newest president of Utah Valley University, the state's largest university, began her tenure this week. Before this, Astrid C. Tuminez was a regional director for Microsoft in Southeast Asia, supervising 15 markets in 10 countries.

A nine-year-old boy in Colorado took his own life on the first week of school this year. The tragedy highlighted a pervasive problem in the state and in the Mountain West region as a whole -- the high suicide rate -- especially among youth. Goal Academy in Pueblo, Colorado is a charter program with high schools around the state that focuses on both academic and mental wellbeing.   

Veteran teacher Jody Lee-Chadde reads with fourth graders at Tsé'bii'nidzisgai Elementary School in Monument Valley. Utah officials are hoping to recruit more teachers who will stick around by recruiting educators who have experience in the classroom.
Kelsie Moore / KUER

Utah Governor Gary Herbert is asking teachers who have left the profession to consider returning to the classroom as schools are struggling with a shortage of educators. Speaking at the state capitol Wednesday, Herbert said the state needs to do a better job of “recruiting and retaining.”

Drawing of students in front of chalkboard that reads "refusal skills."
Renee Bright / KUER

 

On back-to-school night recently at Oak Canyon Junior High School in Utah County, eighth grade health teacher Staisha Sheffield was waiting for parents to arrive, and ready to explain — carefully — what she teaches their 12 and 13-year-olds about sex. In Utah, that’s an all-around challenge.

Red rocks with the word Dixie written in white paint.
istock

A music professor who was fired from Dixie State University this year has been offered a chance to return to the school with some stipulations. The professor, Ken Peterson, said agreeing to those terms would mean giving up what he has trained his whole life to do.

Students sit at a panel in front a large crowd.
Lee Hale / KUER

Speaking to a noisy, standing-room only crowd in Sandy on Saturday, student activists from Utah and Florida discussed gun control and school safety as part of the national March For Our Lives tour.

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