No Credit for Teachers at Anti-Voucher Forum

No Credit for Teachers at Anti-Voucher Forum



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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- There will be no credit for this assignment: Teachers attending an anti-voucher forum at a union convention cannot use it to earn points toward renewing their license.

The workshop, "Understanding the 'Ouch' in Vouchers," is part of the Utah Education Association convention next week.

"Licensure points are about improving teacher quality," said Sydnee Dickson, director of educator quality and licensing at the State Office of Education.

"This doesn't seem tightly aligned with teacher quality ... (or) rules for licensure points," she said.

The union is among the biggest opponents of school vouchers, $500 to $3,000 for each child sent to Utah private schools. A referendum to keep or kill the new law will be on the ballot Nov. 6. It has been suspended until then.

Teachers generally need 100 points to renew their licenses every five years. Points can be earned through UEA convention workshops. There are 47 next week on topics such as chemistry and gaps in student achievement.

The anti-voucher forum will be led by Vik Arnold, the union's political director.

"I never thought people were going to get relicensure credit for it," Arnold said. "We assumed people would be expecting to have an opportunity there to learn more about Referendum 1 and why we think people should be against Referendum 1. "Maybe we need to make that clear up front," he said.

The Utah Lieutenant Governor's Office, which oversees elections, has no problem with the workshop or giving teachers credit for attending.

"I don't think it would endear the UEA to a whole lot of folks," said Joe Demma, chief of staff to Lt. Gov. Gary Herbert, "but they're a private entity and can do what they want."

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Information from: Deseret Morning News

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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