Texas teachers make their case for higher pay: should they get one?

Ash Jurberg

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The issue of teacher pay continues to be a hot topic during this legislative session.

Over the last couple of weeks, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has incurred the wrath of public school teachers in Texas.

He posted on Twitter that he had done more than any Texas Governor in history for public education and teacher pay raises.

"Teacher union head: [Texas lawmakers] are continuing to rob the public schools and send money to private charters Wrong Per student funding is at all time high I've devoted more funding for public ed & teacher pay raises than any governor in TX history" Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

Jackie Anderson, the President of the Houston Federation of Teachers, disputed this.

The only thing I can see is that they're beholden to someone or some entity or a certain group of people because you're basically turning your back on the majority of Texas students and Texas schools. We need a real raise." Jackie Anderson

Despite the claims of Gov. Abbott, it appears that public school teachers in Texas are still underpaid.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, which advocates for fair pay for low- and middle-income workers, Texas public school teachers get paid 21.5% less than college graduates in other professions.

According to the report, of even more concern is that "inflation-adjusted weekly wages for teachers have remained essentially flat since 1996, increasing just $29 compared to 2021 figures."

The pay for teachers was highlighted in a recent article that showed that managers at Buc-ee's can earn four times more than teachers in Texas.

According to the latest National Education Association report, Texas ranks 28th in the nation for teacher pay, earning $7,652 less per year than the national average.

Last week Texas State Rep James Talarico introduced House Bill 1548, which, if passed, would lead to the biggest pay rise in history for Texas teachers.

"When I was a public school teacher, I struggled to make ends meet. 40% of Texas teachers work a second job. Thousands are leaving the profession to find work that can pay the bills. Today I’m introducing legislation to give every teacher in Texas a $15,000 pay raise." James Talarico, Texas State Representative

Teachers will be hoping that the bill passes and they get a pay rise. The question remains will the bill pass?

Your thoughts

Do you believe that public school teachers in Texas deserve to be paid more? Do you agree with the proposed bill? Or do you think they are paid fairly at the moment?

Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below and share this article with others so they can join the conversation.

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