A bill giving every classroom teacher in the state a raise next year cleared a Texas Senate committee on Monday in a unanimous 15-0 vote.
The bill, which was sponsored by State Sen. Jane Nelson, wouldd give the state’s 321,000 teachers a $5,000 pay raise beginning with the 2019-2020 school year. The bill however does not include a raise for librarians, school counselors or nurses.
Now the bill must pass a full Senate vote before it moves on to the House for a committee debate. If passed, the legislation would cost $1.8 billion a year, according to the Texas State Teachers Association. Average teacher pay in the state of Texas is about $7,300 lower than the national average.
Some teachers have opted for side jobs such as Uber and more in order to keep things going and the raise would be for all full-time teachers, including teachers who work at charter schools. However, some state lawmakers, including Governor Greg Abbot are more in favor of merit pay, rather than across the board raises for all teachers.