AUSTIN, Texas – A big day for education in the Texas Legislature. The senate is expected to vote on an updated version of House Bill 3. That is the House of Representatives’ answer to one of the emergency items put forth by Governor Abbott during the State of the State Address.
In his address the governor said, “I am declaring school finance reform and increasing teacher pay as emergency items this session.”
For the past few weeks both the House and the Senate have been working on their own version of education reform. In the senate the proposal it looks to increase teacher and librarian salaries by $5,000. Likewise, the House of Representatives looking to incentivize not only teachers, but all school employees.
State Representative Eddie Lucio III says, “I don’t think it’s right for only the teachers to get a bump in pay if everyone works hard on public education.”
House Bill 3 has been approved by the House and most recently passed out of Senate Committee. The latest version includes the $5,000 raise for teachers and librarians as proposed by the senate, but in the Rio Grande Valley that raise is something teachers are excited about.
Patrick Hammes, B.E.S.T. (Brownsville Teachers Stand Together), “It’s the right thing to do. We applaud the state legislature for looking after the current and retired teachers.”
But it is not a done deal yet. Some lawmakers are concerned about how fast the bill is moving, including where the funding for the bill will be coming from. According to the Texas Education Agency, their highest priority is to recruit, support, and train teachers. The senate vote on HB 3 has been delayed to Monday, May 6.