Former teacher says ballot question could lead her back to the classroom

August 25, 2018 – Salt Lake City, Utah

Former teacher says ballot question could lead her back to the classroom

SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) – In November, Utah voters will weigh in on a gas tax increase to help pay for public education.

Tuesday, supporters are launching the campaign to encourage you to say yes.

Question 1 is part of the compromise Our Schools Now struck with the governor and state legislature.

Supporters say it will help take the financial stress off of teachers.

After spending eight years in the classroom, Allison Canar knows how tough teaching can be.

“It’s very active and on your feet all day long, and then getting home and still having hours of prep work still left to do. And, dealing emotionally with lots of teenage hormones,” said Canar.

There’s also the financial burden of making sure the classroom has all the necessary supplies. She says after adding it all up, the road forward was obvious.

“My family and I decided that it wasn’t a good decision for me to continue in the profession the way it is now.”

According to Our Schools Now, the average Utah teacher spends $479, out of their own pockets, on school supplies every year. That totals more than $13.7 million.

That’s why they are asking voters to say yes to Question 1 on this year’s ballot.

“This would give an allocation to each school, about $150 per student. It can’t be used for school administration, it can’t be used for school construction, it has to be used inside the classroom at local schools to help students and teachers,” said Our Schools Now campaign manager Austin Cox.

The non-binding question asks Utah residents if they would support a 10 cent per gallon increase to the gas tax.

It’s part of the big compromise deal Our Schools Now struck with the governor and legislature to increase funding by more than $100 million a year.

Canar says it’s a step that could get her back in the classroom.

“It has a lot of potential to be great, and it’s wonderful to work with students but we have to make it something sustainable that’s going to add a net benefit to teachers and their families,” she said.