Texas Teachers Rally At Capitol For Pay Raises, Additional State Funding

Chris Fox
March 12, 2019 - 12:26 pm
Texas Teachers Rally In Austin

Credit: Chris Fox, 1080 KRLD

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AUSTIN (1080 KRLD) - Texas teachers spent part of their spring break at the State Capitol waving signs saying "Fund Our Schools" and "Fighting For Our Students."

The teachers were most interested in the State House and Senate public school finance overhaul plans of infusing the public school system with billions of dollars.

Louis Malfaro, the president of the Texas chapter of the American Federation of Teachers said lawmakers are talking about adding billions of dollars to the public school budget, but until they pass the legislation it’s up to the teachers to keep the pressure on at the State Capitol. “There are 15 states still spending less on kids than they were in 2008, and you know what one of those states was? (Crowd yells “Texas”),” 

Teacher pay raises was among the top issues brought up in the Monday rally. Noel Candelaria, the president of the Texas State Teachers Association spoke of the importance of a meaningful across the board pay raises for all public school employees. “All educators, teachers, librarians, nurses, counselors, bus drivers and all critical support staff deserve and need an overdue pay raise.” This conflicts with the State Senate’s bill that would give a $5-thousand across the board pay raise to just teachers and librarians.

Teachers also chanted "No merit pay" challenging the State House school finance reform plan which calls for block grants to go to the school districts, allowing them to grant pay raises as they see fit based on merit. Candelaria told teachers at the rally that merit pay is not reform and that it’s a way to cheat thousands of underpaid Texas teachers of the pay raises they have earned. “No one should be talking about merit pay when the average Texas teacher is paid about $7-thousand below the national average.” 

After the rally the teachers hit the halls of the State Capitol to push their school funding agenda.