Bill to Give Texas Teachers Bonuses, Shore Up Retirees’ Health Care Gets Lukewarm Reception

AUSTIN -- A Senate panel on Saturday advanced a teacher pay and retired teacher health care bill, despite a lukewarm reception from educator groups."Our Texas teachers deserve a raise," said bill author Sen. Jane Nelson, a Flower Mound Republican and former teacher.Several teacher groups, though, took aim at the pay raises in the measure, while praising how it would reduce premiums, deductibles and out of pocket costs for retirees' health care.In September 2018, the bill would give longevity bonuses of $600 to teachers with at least six years but less than 11 years of experience, and $1,000 for those who've taught longer.Starting the following year, the bill anticipates lawmakers would dedicate a new stream of state revenues so that school districts would receive $1,000 per classroom teacher. School boards then could pass on the money as teacher salary bumps in any manner they wished, the bill says.  Continue reading...

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