Texas Senate proposes bill for statewide teacher pay raise
ABILENE, Texas —
Right now, the Texas Senate is working on a pay raise for educators across the State of Texas.
Top leaders in the Texas Legislature are trying to put the focus back on the state's schools for the current legislative session.
The last time that teachers in Texas saw an overall pay raise was over 20 years ago, according to Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick.
The Texas Senate wants to give all teachers across the State of Texas a $5,000 pay raise.
Tiffany Van Hoose, a fifth grade teacher at Wylie Middle School, said that “a future pay raise would help her out a lot.”
"A pay increase would be very, very, very beneficial and I think it would give people a motivating factor to want to continue doing it [teaching], because a lot of people have to leave because they don't make enough money because they can't support themselves or their families. So this would help in doing that and being able to live a good life," said Van Hoose.
Texas State Senator Jane Nelson filed a bill on Tuesday that would require school districts to give their teachers an increase in their salary.
The bill in question is known as Senate Bill 3, which says that the State of Texas would pay for all 350,000 of the state's classroom teachers to get a pay raise, which would cost about $3.7 billion.
Nelson said that, "the most important investment we can make in education is in our teachers."
"So just a little bit [of a pay raise] would help me get that peace of knowing I can pay for what I need to pay for,” Van Hoose said.
Van Hoose is a first-time teacher in the Big Country, and she said that the hard work of teachers sometimes goes unnoticed.
"We get to school earlier than the students do, we stay at school later than the students do and we take work home. We do not get everything done in a school day, and if you do, good job, that's incredible, but I can't do it," Van Hoose said.
For most teachers, it is not about working extra hours or earning a huge paycheck.
"We're not in it for the money, bottom line. You're in it because you love kids and you love teaching and you just want to make an impact in their life, you're not in it because you're getting the big bucks, 'cause you're not getting paid a lot," said Van Hoose.
Van Hoose said that just the thought of knowing that someone from the Texas Legislature is fighting for the teachers in the State of Texas makes her feel appreciated.
"Just knowing that, 'Hey, someone sees me, someone's gonna recognize me,' makes me feel already appreciated and I just started," said Van Hoose.