Texas House and Senate Strike Deal on Bill to Fund Schools, Teacher Pay Raises, Tax Relief

AUSTIN -- Texas's top elected officials have struck a deal on the priority Legislative issues of increasing school funding, giving teachers raises and delivering property tax relief. At a Thursday afternoon press conference, with four days left in the Legislative session, Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen announced the House and the Senate had smoothed over their differences to deliver a bill that will be passed into law in the coming days. While they declared victory, they did not immediately provide details about funding sources or how property tax relief would be calculated. Teachers won't get $5,000 pay raises, but they will get more money, an average of $4,000 for veteran teachers, Patrick said, however he called that a "total compensation package" increase which likely includes increases to retirement benefits. Patrick and others at the press conference did not provide details about how much teachers could expect to receive. But it does not appear to be an across the board raise, as many teachers expected.   Continue reading...

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