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The 2017 Special session called by Gov. Greg Abbott began on July 18, 2017.
Click here for an informative article from Texas Tribune on the format of a 30-day Special Session.

Now through Election Day on Tues., 11/7/2017, is when your legislators are MOST attentive to your concern.
Be sure to let your legislators know your stance on this issue during Special Session this July - August!
Find your legislators here:   Senators Contact Info   |    Representatives Contact Info

Resources

Texas Public Policy Fdn (TPPF):

Teacher Pay & Administrative Flexibility, 2017-18 TPPF Legislator's Guide: Special Session Edition

2017-18 TPPF Legislator's Guide to the Issues: Entire Special Session Edition

Allan E. Parker’s Expert Report for School Finance Trial by Kent Grusendorf and Michael Barba, Texas Public Policy Foundation (Jan. 2015).

Firing Tenured Teachers Isn’t Just Expensive, It Costs You,” Frank Eltman, USA Today (June 30, 2008).

The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Challenges for School Leadership by Dana Markow et al, MetLife, Inc. (Feb. 2013).

No Financial Accountability by Mark Hurley, Texas Education Accountability Project (Mar. 2012).

Report for the Efficiency Interveners by Eric Hanushek (July 2012).

Public Education Productivity Improvement: The Path Forward for Texas Policymakers by Donald R. McAdams and Lynn Jenkins, Texas Institute for Education Reform (July 2012).

Creating a New Vision for Public Education in Texas, Public Education Visioning Institute and Texas Association of School Administrators (May 2008).

Table 213.40. Staff, teachers, and teachers as a percentage of staff in public elementary and secondary school systems,” National Center for Education Statistics.

Table 203.40. Enrollment in public elementary and secondary schools, by level, grade, and state or jurisdiction: Fall 2013,” National Center for Education Statistic

Call Items 2 & 3: Teacher Pay & Administrative Flexibility

On the Call

A teacher pay raise of $1,000, and giving school districts greater flexibility in personnel management.

The Issue

Although the teacher quality is arguably the most important factor in student outcomes, teachers are generally compensated at lower levels that school administrators. The most recent TEA data show that teachers have an average base salary of $52,000, while campus administrators average $76,000, and central administrators average $99,000.[i] Even professional support personnel average $61,000 per year.[ii] In short, teachers are the lowest-paid professionals in the public school system.

The problem is that exceptional teachers are being paid exactly the same as weak teachers. Teacher compensation is determined according to years spent in the classroom, as opposed to effectiveness in the classroom. The salary schedule in Chapter 21 of the Education Code does not take into account the relative attractiveness of different teaching positions or the inherent difficulties of teaching certain subjects.[iii]

The Solution

Predicating a $1,000 teacher pay raise on giving school districts greater flexibility to pay teachers based on a variety of factors, the most important of which is an individual teacher’s respective talent and effectiveness.  Principals should have the option to compensate outstanding teachers—those who arrive early, stay late, and whose students demonstrate progress —in a manner that reflects their hard work. School principals need the authority to freely hire and compensate the individuals they believe are capable of producing results and to fire those who are not meeting the fundamental needs of the students.

Reforming state law could also make the process of removing poorly-performing teachers from the classroom less costly for school districts.[iv]

Teacher Pay Increase of $1,000:

1. Quality teachers are most important to student progress and successful outcomes.

2. In order for Texas to attract the best and the brightest, we need to increase teacher pay.

nota bene: School choice empowers competition and the free market, increasing quality teachers salaries naturally...

3. The Governor is asking that schools reprioritize less than 1% of their budgets to give our teachers a $1,000 raise

Administrative Flexibility in Teacher Hiring and Retention Practices

1. Principles and administrators are hamstrung by their inability to hire and promote good teachers, as well as the difficulty to fire bad ones.

2. Ineffective teachers who are not performing and giving our children a chance to succeed should not be protected because of outdated state laws.

Governor Abbott is asking the legislature to rewrite the state contracting laws to make it easier to reward the best teachers, and to replace ineffective teachers.

[i] TEA Pocket Edition 2016-17.

[ii] Ibid.

[iii] Tex. Ed. Code §21.402

[iv] “Firing Tenured Teachers Isn’t Just Expensive, It Costs You”. USA Today, June 30, 2008, Frank Eltman; online at: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/education/2008-06-30-teacher-tenure-costs_N.htm


From: Teacher Pay & Administrative Flexibility, Texas Public Policy Foundation's 2017-18 Legislator's Guide, Special Session Edition.

Recommendations

•   Empower local school principals to determine teacher pay by eliminating Texas’ minimum salary schedule, which acts as a one-size-fits-all template and inhibits common sense resource allocations to the detriment of good teachers.

•   Repeal Chapter 21 of the Texas Education code, which hurts the careers of great teachers by protecting the teachers that are demonstrably poor.

The Facts

•   Texas spends over half of its budget on education—the largest line item in the budget.

•   Texas maintains a state salary schedule that requires school districts to give annual raises to all instructors in the district based on longevity within the profession.

•   Advanced degrees and years of service do not correlate with higher student achievement, yet they usually lead to higher pay.

•   Educators in Texas are generally granted “term contracts.” However, the state’s Term Contract Nonrenewal Act has the same effect as teacher tenure provides in other states.

•   It is extremely difficult to dismiss ineffective teachers in Texas. Labor laws protect employees at the expense of good teachers, taxpayers, and students.

•   Teachers are paid less than market rates due to the monopsony power of school districts. (p. 1 - 2).

•   Texas teachers stand to make substantially higher salaries if districts limited non-teaching staff growth to that of teaching staff.

Read more on the Issue from Texas Public Policy Foundation.