Texas Senate committee approves bill to give every teacher a $5,000 raise

Texas Senate committee approves bill to give every teacher a $5,000 raise

Texas' Senate Committee on Finance on Monday unanimously approved a bill that seeks to give every teacher in the state a $5,000 raise starting next year, according to The Dallas Morning News

Senate Bill 3, which was sponsored by state Sen. Jane Nelson (R), would require school districts in Texas to give full-time classroom teachers a $5,000 raise, regardless of their prior salary. 

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The bill would benefit about 350,000 school teachers throughout the state. 

The Dallas Morning News noted that the bill faces numerous steps to become law. The bill must pass in the full Senate before heading to the House for a debate in committee. 

The bill, which is supported by 23 of the 31 senators, is expected to pass in the Senate. 

"The goal of Senate Bill 3 is to provide a well-deserved, across-the-board, permanent $5,000 pay raise for every classroom teacher in Texas," Nelson told the newspaper. "I can't promise for every future Legislature. But I'll say this, they're going to have to undo it.

The bill was passed on Monday after being amended to include charter school teachers and to cover pension costs that would be associated with the pay raise. 

Some teachers testified on Monday that the bill should also extend to librarians and other specialists.

Nelson told The Morning News that she was open to the idea, but skeptical that the state would have adequate funding. 

"We wanted to make sure that our classroom teachers got this raise, first and foremost," Nelson said. "That is not to say that those others aren't important. ...We don't have a printing press. We only have a certain amount of money."

The debate around Senate Bill 3 comes as teachers throughout the country protest for better wages. For example, about 3,000 members of the Oakland Education Association (OEA) began protesting last week as part of an effort to get better pay