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Teachers Receiving Bonuses Promised by Legislature

Teachers Receiving Bonuses Promised by Legislature



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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The Legislature's $1,000 bonus for public school teachers is on its way in several school districts.

But some teachers are still getting less than $1,000 because of miscalculations when the law went through the 2007 Legislature.

Lawmakers have promised to fund the full amount when they reconvene in January.

While the bonus is taxable, many are still grateful.

"Hopefully, that will help them through the Christmas season," said Mark Mickelsen, spokesman for the Utah Education Association. "Most (districts) are trying to give the maximum they can give based on the funding they've received. ... I think in those districts that decided to be more cautious, we're hoping the legislators, when they meet, are going to restore that to the districts. I think there is a lot of good intent on the Hill to do that."

Lawmakers last winter promised teachers, principals, counselors and media specialists $1,000 bonuses and $2,500 raises this school year. They also wanted to give a $360 bonus to bus drivers, secretaries and other school workers.

But calculation errors by the State Office of Education and the Office of the Legislative Fiscal Analyst meant the Legislature came up short about $2.4 million for the bonuses, and up to $20 million too low to cover the raises.

Districts have dealt with the shortfall differently. Davis School District teachers are getting $975 bonuses; other employees are getting $300.

Any additional money making up the shortfall will go to teachers as soon as the Legislature appropriates it.

"That's considered one of our highest priorities," said Rep. Ron Bigelow, R-West Valley and Executive Appropriations Committee co-chairman.

Jordan teachers are getting the full $1,000 while other employees are getting $500, which will cost the Jordan Board of Education about $740,000, spokesman Michael Kelley said.

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Information from: Deseret Morning News

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

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