Texas Senate Wants Billions to Fund $5,000 Pay Raise for Every Classroom Teacher

AUSTIN — The Texas Senate wants to give every classroom teacher a $5,000 pay raise.On Tuesday, Sen. Jane Nelson filed a bill that would require school districts to give each of the state's 350,000 classroom teachers a one-time pay bump. The state would pay for the increase, which would cost about $3.7 billion, Nelson estimated, and then would continue to set that money aside for future raises, according to Senate Bill 3."The most important investment we can make in education is in our teachers. They are the key factor in preparing our students for success," Nelson, R-Flower Mound, said. "Teaching has always been a labor of love, but we need to elevate the profession, recruit the best and brightest to the classrooms and compensate our teachers for the critical role they play in shaping the future of Texas."The bill's low number indicates it will be a priority for the Senate, which is presided over by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. He has previously advocated for teacher pay raises, but not without such a large infusion of state cash. Monty Exter, a lobbyist with the state's largest educator group, had one word to describe how he felt about the proposal: "Happy.""We are pleased to see that the Texas Senate has both heard the outcry for the need for more teacher funding and seems to have listened to concerns of unfunded mandates from last session," said Exter, whose Association of Texas Professional Educators boasts 100,000 members statewide. Any educator who teaches no fewer than four hours a day would be eligible for the raise. Other school employees, like librarians and counselors, would not be eligible, Exter said. The bill does not increase the base pay rate for teachers that's set in state law, known as the minimum salary schedule.Senate Bill 3 was filed the same day the Texas House released its first budget proposal, which pitched billions more for public school funding.   Continue reading...

Copyright The Dallas Morning News
Contact Us