HEALTH

Gov. Cox giving state employees time off to substitute in Utah schools

Jan 31, 2022, 10:34 AM | Updated: Aug 2, 2022, 12:37 pm
don't test stay home...
Gov. Spencer Cox speaks during a press conference about COVID-19 and the omicron variant at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)
(Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Spencer Cox is issuing an executive order, allowing state employees to take time off to substitute teach in Utah’s schools. 

It can be a public or private school experiencing a shortage of staff. The move is being directly attributed to the spread of the omicron variant creating “an unprecedented wave of absenteeism among teachers and education staff.”

The Governor’s office released this statement along with the announcement:

“We know that kids learn best in the classroom, so we want to do what we can to help schools stay open. Our teachers and our children deserve our support during this difficult phase of the pandemic. We hope many of the state’s 22,000 employees will take advantage of this opportunity to help our schools.”

Michelle Watts with the Utah Human Resources office said employees will be given thirty hours to use in Utah schools this year after they go through the approval process.

“That’s 30 hours that can be used to apply, go through any application processes including training, then, do those volunteer hours at the school,” she said.

State employees will be assigned to the job they are most suited for. An example would be an employee with a CDL license volunteering to work as a bus driver.

“It could include working in the school lunchroom, or if the school needed it could include some support services,” Watts said.

Grateful for the help, more is needed

The Utah Education Association told KSL NewsRadio that they welcome help from Gov. Cox and from Utah state employees, and that deeper issues also need to be addressed. 

Particularly those issues that will attract and retain good teachers.

“We really look to our governor and policymakers and elected school boards to get to the root causes of these issues, so that we make sure that we are attracting (and) retaining the best and the brightest for our classrooms,” said Utah Education Association President Heidi Matthews.

“Especially right now, in the crisis that we’re facing in our schools with the pandemic, we have to focus on retention as the best recruitment.”

One specific suggestion Matthews has is for Utah lawmakers to look into ways to give teachers more time to prep for their classes.

 

Today’s Top Stories

Health

carbon monoxide poisoning...
Ali Litzinger

Carbon monoxide poisoning on the rise in winter months

SALT LAKE CITY — Winter is approaching and officials want people to know the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. Last year, nearly 200 Utahns were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning.  The flame in a gas appliance should generally be blue, with some orange. If the flame is mostly yellow, it’s giving off excess carbon monoxide.  […]
8 days ago
BYU...
Mark Jackson

BYU wellness students return from Blue zone with healthy lifestyle tips

Some BYU students are learning how to live healthy and happier lives from a trip to Ikaria, Greece.
8 days ago
mental health rural...
Devin Oldroyd

Salt Lake Co. Council voting to fund temporary mental health receiving center

Salt Lake County Council will vote Tuesday morning on Funding for a temporary mental health receiving center at the Huntsman Mental Health Institute.
9 days ago
Driven to Assist Season of Service by Larry H Miller....
Elizabeth Weiler and Waverly Golden

Companies around Utah offer free Thanksgiving meals and more

The Miller Foundation, Crossroads Urban Center, and Ken Garff are all offering Thanksgiving meals and other services for Thanksgiving.
9 days ago
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints...
Mark Jackson

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Memphis NAACP pair to help mothers

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Memphis NAACP are partnering to launch "MyBaby4Me" to help new and expecting mothers.
10 days ago
Shortages in daycares across the country and in Utah are keeping thousands of parents home, intead ...
Becky Bruce and Kira Hoffelmeyer

School and daycare facilities haven’t “bounced back” to normalcy

Along with the rest of the nation, a shortage of daycare workers and teachers in Utah means parents are staying home from work.
12 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
Gov. Cox giving state employees time off to substitute in Utah schools