Texas Politics

Texas Teachers unions: Senate and House plans are not enough

AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Teachers and education supporters rallied at the Capitol Monday to demand lawmakers raise pay for school district employees and put more money into public schools across Texas.

The rally, led by teacher unions Texas AFT and the Texas State Teachers Association, comes as both chambers of the state legislature have now released their initial plans to tackle school finance this session.

The Senate's plan — filed Friday — is vague. Much of the language is placeholder, as senators continue to obtain input from educators. The upper chamber has already passed an across-the-board $5,000 pay raise for teachers and librarians.

The new legislation, Senate Bill 4, accomplishes four main objectives. It aims to prepare more students for college, careers and the military by expanding technical education programs. It would also create an educator effectiveness program to determine merit-based pay raises.

State Sen. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, who serves on the Senate education committee, said the incentive pay program has been "a difficult issue in the past."

"But Dallas ISD has come up with a system that works," said Hughes. "Longview ISD, that I represent, has a system that other districts are looking out and learning from."

The bill also puts an emphasis on early childhood learning.

"They tell us until grade 3 we are learning to read and after that we are reading to learn," Hughes said.  "So if a child is not learning a grade level by the third grade, they could have some real challenges. Most of them will have real challenges."

State Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., D-Brownsville, said he was glad lawmakers would have more time to refine Senate Bill 4.

"There are obviously differences in opinions on what we can do on each side," Lucio said. "Hopefully we can all get together and agree on a bill that will be helpful all the way around."

Louis Malfaro, president of Texas AFT, said the Senate's new plan is not enough.

"We see some promise but significant room for improvement."

The House plan, unveiled last week, would increase funding per student, establish full-day Pre-K, and dedicate money for students with dyslexia and other learning challenges. It also raises teacher salary minimums and raise schedules.

"We cannot hide behind differences between the different chamber's perspective and approach, they have a responsibility to resolve those differences," said Malfaro. "We support an across-the-board raise for all employees. We support full funding for schools flowed through the formulas and neither of those bills is adequate to ultimately meet the full needs of our schools."

Hughes said: "I’m optimistic that by the end of the session we are going to see broad agreement for a significant pay raise across the board for every teacher, on top of that incentive pay program that we know is going to work."

"I hope at the end we’re able to get together and work out those problematic areas where we can find middle ground and get a bill out that will be good for our children and for the taxpayer and also plan for the future," said Lucio.

The Senate plan does not have a formal price tag on it yet. The overall House plan puts about $9 billion dollars into the state's education system.



More Texas Politics Stories

Trending Video

  • TCSO dash cam shows flood waters and air lift
  • Deep Eddy Pool temporarily closes for spring cleaning
  • Planning for the worst—active shooter training held at Austin mosque
  • Motorcyclist killed in New Braunfels crash
  • Highway 29 in Georgetown reopened after major wreck
  • 'Disturbance' in the street leads to a man's death, according to APD
  • Planning for the worst—active shooter training held at Austin mosque
  • Thousands of pups march across Austin in the Mighty Texas Dog Walk
  • Chick-fil-A banned from San Antonio airport after anti-LGBTQ donations
  • Will Power races to the pole position at IndyCar Classic
  • Norwegian cruise rescue
  • E-Gaming push
  • Carjacking attempt victim tells her story
  • APD Victim Services technology being used to rewire traumatic memories, feelings
  • Proposed laws would let doctors sell medications from their offices
  • Liberty Hill residents search for dog who survived car crash that killed his owner
  • IndyCar comes to Austin for the first time
  • Full-day pre-K could be coming to Texas
  • Georgetown business evacuations decreasing weeks after gas leak
  • Weekend Jam
  • Mother suspects child may be victim of sex crimes
  • La Grange business owner is back in business
  • Women's Hall of Fame: MeToo
  • Two sisters share nearly identical pregnancies
  • Buda begins 'smart' water meter installations
  • Kaxan visits KXAN
  • Headstart employee touched boys inappropriately, deputies say
    Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Police chase ends with driver's death, shuts down I-35 overnight
  • Proposed law would raise criminal age to 18
  • Cleaning the Marie Kondo Way
  • Headstart sub accused of indecency with children
  • 14-year-old saves family from fire
  • Two new low-income developments aim for upgraded housing
  • Interview with George P. Bush
  • Firefighters call for help with
  • Girl, 5, critical after hit-and-run wreck in south Austin
  • Headstart sub touched boys inappropriately, police say
  • Cadbury's newest Bunny is a bulldog
  • Do Beto's bucks matter?
  • Elderly woman found dead in home after house fire near Lago Vista
  • Elderly woman found dead in home after house fire near Lago Vista
  • Child hospitalized with life-threatening injuries after wreck
  • Law enforcement, leaders to reflect on Austin bombings a year later
  • Man takes steer into Petco to test leash policy
  • Disabled Outdoorsmen
  • Man injured in North Campus apartment fire
  • After student deaths, UT, Texas Tech parents back anti-hazing bill
  • KXAN Investigates: Red light cameras — effective? Legal?
  • U.S. Marshals on the hunt in Mexico for man believed to have killed boyfriend
  • Security footage offers clues into suspects of drive-by shooting
  • Austin visitor hit in downtown shooting describes the scene
  • Beloved Texas State cafeteria worker in hospice care
  • Open gov. advocates say bills would strengthen public records access
  • Austin Catholic priest accused of assaulting woman during last rites
  • State lawmakers discuss banning red light cameras
  • Taylor school to become apartment homes
  • Austin priest sexually assaulted woman in hospice
  • Numbers of homeless women on the rise
  • O'Rourke campaign gets early financial boost — will it matter?
  • State of Texas sues, saying city of Double Horn is invalid.

More Stories

Trending Gallery

PHOTOS: March Madness 2019 First Round
PHOTOS: March Madness 2019 First Round

PHOTOS: March Madness 2019 First Round

Big Tournament /

Trending Stories