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Bid to keep pay level if a teacher moves fails

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A bill that would maintain teachers pay level when they transfer school districts was defeated by the House Education Standing Committee Tuesday.

Teachers now might give up years of experience, which translates into pay, when they move. HB244, sponsored by Rep. Mike Thompson, R-Orem, would require school boards to credit all Utah teachers' experience and two-thirds of the experience earned out of state.

But some lawmakers viewed teacher contract negotiations as a local issue and that passing unfunded mandates could damage district budgets.

The Utah Education Association agreed. While it would be nice to maintain pay level, the bill could pit new teachers against more expensive veterans, UEA President Phyllis Sorensen said.

"It's a hard spot for me to sit here and say it's a great idea but I'm not sure if it's understood how complicated it is . . . or how results would have the opposite effect" of the bill's intent.