State leaders have focused on school finance and related issues this session, but there is not yet much agreement on how best to improve teacher compensation. Here’s what we know so far:

  • The Senate leadership (in particular Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Senate Bill 3 sponsor Sen. Jane Nelson) remain committed to a $5,000 across-the-board teacher pay raise. SB 3 is scheduled for a committee hearing on Monday, February 25, in the Senate Finance Committee, and TCTA has been invited to testify on the proposal. We will express our appreciation for the significant raise that would apply to all classroom teachers, but will also provide some suggestions for improvement, including assuring that funding is available for raises for other educational and support staff, and clarifying that the $5,000 increase is ongoing.
  • We expect to see other proposals in the Senate, possibly including teacher performance pay, possibly giving districts discretion on how to use new state funding for employee compensation.
  • House leadership has not yet released a teacher salary bill. Compensation may be addressed as part of the larger school finance reform legislation, or may be a separate bill, and we do not yet know what form the compensation proposal will take.
  • The House Democratic Caucus released a proposal this week to provide an unspecified raise for teachers and other employees as well as increased state funding for health insurance premiums and a one-time $500 check for classroom supplies.