To pass or not to pass: a bill to raise educators’ salaries


Harley Classe

The introduction of House Bill 1548 may mean an increase in teacher salaries across Texas. Pending the approval of Gov. Greg Abbott, this could be a much needed increase.

Caroline Caruso, Editor-in-Chief

A pay raise may be in sight for Texas educators, if House Bill 1548, which would provide a $15,000 increase in annual salary across-the-board, is approved and signed by Gov. Greg Abbott

With the state’s coffers filled with a $33 billion surplus, increasing teacher pay is something gathering support by both Republicans and Democrats.

“It’s no wonder that thousands of educators are leaving the profession,” Representative James Talarico said in a recent press release. “We have an emergency teacher shortage in the state and it requires emergency action by the Legislature.”

The issue is something that Frisco ISD Superintendent Mike Waldrip is well aware of. 

“I’ve actually seen some surveys that they’ve done nationally, not just in the state of Texas, regarding why teachers are leaving the profession,” he said. “We’re trying to stay on top of that, but it’s a struggle for everyone. When you have a few teachers looking for a job, you have a lot of people that are competing to get them to come to your school district.”

If House Bill 1548 is approved and signed by Abbott, it would take Texas from 28th in the country for average teacher pay to the 7th highest paying state in the country for public school teachers, a move which may increase the numbers of those in the field according to Government teacher Amanda Peters. 

“This could help with the retention of some teachers that could help with recruiting new teachers,” she said. “It could help even up the playing field, especially because rural districts cannot pay as much. More urban and suburban school districts pay their school funding through school taxes through property taxes, where the rural areas really don’t have that ability. So I think it’s trying to make becoming a teacher joining the profession of teachers to be either more palatable, or something people are thinking about.”