Better pay, working conditions among recommendations from Teacher Vacancy Task Force

The TVTF also recommends raising the amount of state funding per student

Texas teachers have called for better pay and working conditions, but now they’re getting support from a statewide task force created by the governor.

A year ago, Governor Greg Abbott ordered a mix of teachers and administrators across Texas to investigate teacher shortages. Now the Teacher Vacancy Task Force released a report in February recommending lawmakers raise teacher pay, increase training and improve working conditions.

Alejandra Lopez, with San Antonio Alliance, the union for San Antonio ISD, said the report echoes what teachers have been saying for years.

“Its findings are no surprise. our compensation does not match the respect and dignity that we deserve on the job,” Lopez said.

House Bill 1548 would give all Texas teachers a $15,000 raise.

The Teacher Vacancy Task Force also recommends raising the amount of state funding per student.

House Bill 882 would raise the basic allotment from $6,160 to $7,075 per student.

The recommendations come as state lawmakers decide how to spend a $32 billion budget surplus.

“So what makes this year different than other years is that the money is there and we need our elected officials to step up and make a choice to invest in our public schools,” Lopez said.

In a task force survey, teachers said an unsustainable workload is the number one reason they leave the job.

The report recommended that lawmakers fund a study on how teachers use their time in and out of the classroom.

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