MONTEZUMA CREEK, Utah (AP) — A school district in southeastern Utah is in the middle of a test program to see if offering salaries of up to $80,000 can persuade teachers to stay at an elementary school in the southeastern corner of the state.

The Deseret News reported Sunday that teacher turnover is a major problem at Montezuma Creek Elementary School due to unusual working conditions. The test program started three years ago to pay significantly higher salaries to effective veteran educators selected as lead teachers at the school.

Since the pilot started three years ago, all but one lead teacher has remained at the school. Turnover has also been reduced, but more importantly, student achievement has improved. The program was launched with a grant, and administrators now seek to expand the effort to other schools. The school is located in a remote area of the Navajo Nation Reservation, the largest tribal reservation in the United State.

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