Poll: Utahns Favor Raising Teacher Salaries

Nearly ¾ of Utahns want to see teacher salaries increased so that they are more in line with national averages, but that support wanes slightly when they learn about the idea’s $250 million price tag.

The UtahPolicy.com survey finds 74% of Utahns would favor bringing Utah teacher salaries in line with the national average.

A 2013 analysis from the National Center for Education Statistics found the average salary for teachers in Utah was $49,393. Compare that to the national average that year of $56,383.

It’s estimated lifting Utah’s average teacher salary to the national mean would cost $50 million per year over the next five years. When that pricetag is included in the final tally, support among Utahns drops slightly.

65% of Utahns would support the idea once they understand how much it would cost, but most of the drop in support comes from those who feel “strongly” about the idea. Before the cost is revealed, 48% of Utahns say they would “strongly support” the idea, but after the $250 million pricetag is known, that support drops a whopping 12%.

Democrats in Utah really like the idea of boosting teacher salaries. 97% support increasing teacher salaries to the national average. That support remains at 87% once the cost is known. Republicans and independent voters are warier of the idea. 69% of Republicans and 74% of independent voters support the idea of raising teacher salaries. That level of support drops to just 58% among Republicans after they find out the cost.