7th 2011
How Did I Miss Utah’s Union Release Time Accountability Law (They Beat Colorado)?

Posted under Education Politics & Independence Institute & School Accountability & School Finance & State Legislature & Teachers

About eight weeks ago I brought your attention to the fact that Colorado and Michigan taxpayers both are still underwriting teachers union release time. But not so much anymore in one of our neighboring states. This is one to chalk up in the “How did I miss that?” category. Anyway, way back in March, Utah enacted House Bill 183. According to the description from Parents for Choice in Education, a Utah grassroots group backing education reform, the legislation:

Prohibits granting paid association leave and requires reimbursement to a school district of the costs for certain employees, including benefits, for the time that the employee is on unpaid association leave.

What a concept! A March 6 article in the Salt Lake Tribune adds some more perspective:

Now, three Utah districts — Salt Lake, Granite and Davis — pay a portion of their local union presidents’ salaries, though the employees are on leave from teaching, and the union pays the rest of their salaries according to contract agreements.

It’s an even bigger issue in Colorado than in Utah, as my Education Policy Center friend Ben DeGrow demonstrated in his 2010 issue paper Colorado Schools and Association Release Time (PDF). (You know, like unions taking taxpayer-funded leave from the classroom to lobby against the landmark 2010 educator effectiveness legislation.) Maybe some intrepid policy maker in our own Centennial State can help this movement for common sense and public accountability gain traction and move east.


2 Responses to “How Did I Miss Utah’s Union Release Time Accountability Law (They Beat Colorado)?”

  1. Ed is Watching » Digital Learning Grows, Local Union Sent Packing: School Reform News Utah Two-fer on 03 Aug 2011 at 3:58 pm #

    [...] is it about our neighbors to the west? A couple months ago I brought your attention to Utah’s new law providing accountability to the use of teachers union release time. But [...]

  2. Ed is Watching » “Audits for Thee, Not for Me,” But More Attacks on Online Ed. Option to Come on 09 Nov 2011 at 1:17 pm #

    [...] how about an audit of school districts granting taxpayer-funded release time to unions with little or no accountability? Among other troubling revelations, we have seen many union leave days used to lobby at the State [...]

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