Pay Teachers More? HOW DARE YOU!?

Texas teachers have been waiting patiently [for years] for pay raises that match the pay of other professions. Currently, Texas legislators are working on an education reform bill that will potentially give educators more money in their pockets.

Does this sound too good to be true?

Many teachers are depending on their districts to give them the $5,000 raise that Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has insinuated would happen for months, and many teachers simply don’t really believe it’s going to happen.

FYI teachers, this bill will not be all pay raises as expected. Your individual districts will decide what to do with the allocations afforded to them by the state. Meaning, you may get a raise, amount determined by your district, or you may get lowered premiums towards your healthcare that will ultimately give you more money in your paychecks. The amount, though, will vary depending on your district.

According to Andrea Zelinski and Allie Morris at the Houston Chronicle, “Public school teachers in Texas could see a pay raise under the Legislature’s sweeping education reform bill, but the size depends on the district, which can choose whether to boost salaries or put the money toward health insurance benefits.”

Teachers in Texas are still making less money compared to the national average.

Fernando Ramirez at the Houston Chronicle indicated, “Texas teacher’s ranked 28th on the list, with a salary $52,575, faring better than surrounding states Oklahoma ($45,292), Lousiana ($50,000), Arkansas ($48,304) and New Mexico ($47,122), but still lagging an impressive $7,085 behind the national average.”

Over the past several years, we have seen many teachers in many states protest for more, well-deserved pay. We have seen an uprise [about time] to ensure that teachers are compensated for their hard work and dedication to the profession. States like Colorado, Arizona, Oklahoma, North Carolina, California, and West Virginia have all endured official teacher strikes; however, rallies around the country are continuing to gain momentum.

Bernie Sanders, a Democratic presidential candidate, has called for a national starting pay for teachers at $60,000 a year. He has also indicated a desire to ban for-profit charter schools.

Every election year, politicians empathize with teachers about their working conditions and underpaid compensation; however, once elected, there has been little interest to invest in teacher working conditions and pay raises. We are going in a foward direction, but we are going at the speed of a ‘school zone’ instead of going 85 mph on State Highway 130.

Teachers, confront your districts and continue to rally for what you deserve! It’s a waiting game at this point, but I am hopeful that districts will start appreciating their teachers and staff. We will see if this is actually too good to be true!

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