HARLINGEN, TX (ValleyCentral) — As the state of Texas continues to grapple with a staffing crisis in schools, the legislators-teachers union is calling on the state to raise teacher salaries.
Texas Rep. James Talarico is proposing the largest teacher pay increase in Texas history.
“Teaching is the most important profession in our state, without the teaching profession, there would be no other professions,” said Talarico.
Talariko, a former public school teacher, has demanded more money for educators in the past.
In 2021, he filed a bill establishing a $70,000 minimum wage for every teacher in Texas.
The bill died in committee.
“It was a difficult job before the pandemic, and now it is an almost impossible job, and therefore the best investment in education that we as a state can make is our teachers,” he said.
The state representative isn’t the only one calling for a raise.
The Texas American Federation of Teachers is committed to respecting their pay, classes, and schedules.
“What we’re looking for is a $10,000 raise for all teachers in the state, a 50 percent increase for all other educators statewide,” said Patrick Hammes, union leader for Brownsville Educators Together.
The pledge was signed by local school board members and legislators and covers teachers’ salaries, a specific working year with a specific number of contract days, and class sizes.
“All the research shows that students do best in smaller class sizes, teachers can identify individual weaknesses and work on it together with students,” Hammes said.
On Tuesday, Talarico will hold a press conference with Texas educators at the Capitol to discuss his bill to raise teacher salaries.