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Letter: Teachers deserve better compensation, and our children deserve a better education

Two recent Deseret News articles about education have caught my interest, and hopefully were noticed by our governor and legislators.

The first advocated beginning pay for school teachers at about $60,000 per year under the premise that teachers are the keys to success or failure for our school children, and that current teacher pay is barely sufficient to put a warm body at the head of every class. This article resonated with me, since I have watched my own children thrive with gifted teachers and fail with failing teachers.

The second article was written by a science teacher who described her class sizes as too large for her students to learn effectively. I was strongly impressed by this article, too.

While I support school choice, leveraging tech, parental involvement and every other viable tool to get more bang for our educational buck, I am convinced that we must provide more dollars for our school system. Since our children are the outputs of this system, I am lying to myself if I continue to focus on the number of teacher work days or other elements unrelated to our need to recruit and keep talented teachers in manageable classrooms.

I am not a teacher. I am a taxpayer. As such, I beg our state leaders to fund education to the level of their rhetoric. Please quit believing that the state income tax is generating more money than our education system needs. Our children need far more than you have been providing. Until Utah is no longer at the bottom of the 50 states in education funding and has improved on currently mediocre outcomes, we have no “education governor” and no “education legislature.”

This session, act. The tax revenue for education is there. Rather than cut it, spend it on the kids. If that is not enough, ask for more. We’ll do what it takes to help our kids succeed. Will you?

Kerry Soelberg

West Jordan