As teacher strikes continue across the United States with one planned in Colorado this week, the Texas State Teachers Association released a statement showing just how far funding for teachers and students fall below the national average.
The release cited a study from the National Education Association, saying Texas dropped from 26th to 29th when it comes to teacher salaries, showing Texas’s average close to $53,000 nearly $7,000 below the national average.
It’s an issue that’s trickled into local elections as Frisco Independent School District prepares to seat a new school board trustee.
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Rene Archambault and Linda McConnell running for seat seven in this year’s only contested race. Both agree teachers should be paid more.
“We don’t want to lose good teachers at all, and we certainly don’t want to lose them to competing districts because they pay a little better than we do. So we need to meet those needs and rise to their expectations of what those salary dollars look like here,” said Achambault citing a 12.5% attrition rate.
McConnell shared the same sentiments saying when it comes to salaries, being close to average isn’t good enough.
“That’s what I’m tired of. And that’s why I’m coming back as a candidate. I believe with the budget that we have, we can become the gold standard,” said McConnell.
In Frisco, starting salaries range from $50,500 to $59,800 based on years of experience.
While McConnell plans to seek raises from the district’s current surplus, Achambault hopes to use a tax swap to move money that carries the burden of debt and builds buildings over to the maintenance and operations, about 85% of which accounts for salaries
“If we can move some of that money over from one bucket to another that money can immediately impact teacher salaries,” said Archambault.
The race is scheduled for May 5th.