On Wednesday, legislators in the Texas Senate discussed a bill that would give teachers raises of $2,000. Additionally, according to the statement, some teachers whose salaries are below the median would receive raises of $4,000.
However, this is a far cry from the increases of $10,000 to $15,000 that some teachers have been advocating for to completely revamp the pay system for teachers in the state.
Brandon Creighton, the chair of the Public Education Committee, stated that the state only has a certain amount of money to distribute. His proposed raises will amount to $3.3 billion in total cost to the state when everything is added up.
Creighton (R-Conroe), who was speaking, said looking at that large number was essential. Creighton provided an overview of Senate Bill 9, which he refers to as the Teacher’s Bill of Rights. It is a comprehensive bill that addresses various topics, from pay and raises to disciplinary problems, intending to assist the state in filling vacant teaching positions.
“Compensation is often third on list of concerns for teachers. Safety is first, support and validation by administrators work environment is second,” he explained.
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Before a disruptive or dangerous student is brought back into a classroom, the district would need to have a plan, and the teacher would need to be included. It would be required that the community include the teacher in their program.
Creighton explained that this is a process in which teachers are frequently excluded in today’s society. According to him, the state can offer $2,000 for all teachers and $4,000 for teachers making less than the median salary.
“In Texas, we are required to balance our budget, can’t print another trillion dollars like the federal government does, and can’t put it toward a problem that will be dealt with later.”
School nurses, counselors, and librarians would also receive raises even though bus drivers, food service workers, and janitorial staff would not receive raises is a source of concern for some school administrators.
“No teacher wants to clean their own classroom, drive the bus, supervise the lunchroom every day. We need the funding to address record high inflation,” Port Aransas ISD Superintendent Sharon McKinney said.
Greg Abbott tweeted that our teachers got a well-earned pay raise this last session. You can see below:
Texas has some of the best teachers in America.
Amarillo High teacher among finalists for presidential teaching award.
Our teachers got a well-earned pay raise this last session.
We want to recruit & retain the best teachers. https://t.co/AzCwt0s9ed
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) February 8, 2020
A political scientist at SMU, the proposed raises will not produce any measurable difference in the amount of money paid to teachers in Texas.
“Talking here about raises $2,000–$4,000 keeping pace with inflation, I am sure they will be happy to have it, but not the sort of game changer teachers have been asking for,” he said. “I am sure they will be happy to have it, but not the sort of game changer teachers have been asking for.”
Wilson stated that state legislators are feeling pressure to use the state’s surplus to provide relief from property taxes.
“That impacts a wide swath of Texans, whereas teacher pay is targeted to benefit more narrow set of people. If that is the trade off, there is a lot more political impetus behind a major property tax cut than major teacher pay increase,” he explained.