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Texas Teachers and Administrators Hope a Teacher Pay Raise Bill Survives Political Differences

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Many reasons draw teachers to the classroom. Pay isn’t always one of them.

“Teaching is important to me because we get an opportunity to see people grow,” Fort Worth ISD teacher Marcus Brookins said. He is a former Fort Worth ISD teacher of the year and is also the assistant band director at O.D. Wyatt High School.

“Teachers are to me underpaid and under-appreciated,” Brookins said. “At the end of the day when you think about it, from you — where you are — to the man behind the camera, to people that’s just driving by, they’ve all been impacted by teachers.”

Democratic State Rep. James Talarico plans to file a bill that could boost teacher pay by $15,000.

UNT political science assistant professor Leslie Finger says it might be a tough sell.  

“Unfortunately, Republicans control the legislature and this is traditionally a more Democratic issue. So, to the extent, I think James Talarico is going to have a lot of work to get Republicans on board but I don’t think it’s impossible.”

“I personally think this is a huge step in the right direction,” said Eddie Conger, the founder and superintendent of International Leadership of Texas, a public charter school.

Conger was in Austin Wednesday advocating for teachers’ rights.

“For us to be competitive, we’ve got to invest funds to make sure we are compensating teachers at least on the salary side to entice them to stay and put up with us administrators,” Congers said.

Administrators and teachers are hoping political differences get set to the side for the sake of education in Texas.

“Let’s get together and come together on one accord about what we need to do to make it better for our teachers,” Brookins said.

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