Editor’s Note: The video above shows today’s top headlines from KXAN News on February 24, 2023.
Austin (KXAN) – Texas teacher ‘explosion’. More than 20% of her teachers are enrolled in school unqualified. Wages can’t keep up with inflation.
are just some of the challenges described in . Long awaited report From 45 Texas Teachers and Administrators Governor Greg Abbott has mandated a growing teacher shortage in the state.
“This is not a new trend. This is a 30-year trend and it’s not unique to Texas. This is education in the United States,” said Mike Moras of the Texas Board of Education. said in a TV interview.
The report recommends that legislators increase the amount of per-student funding allocated to school districts across the state, but this has not been implemented since 2019, and the school system will continue to use more of that amount. of the money spent on teacher compensation.
Texas school districts currently have to pay new teachers at least $33,660, but most school districts across the state pay more. By law, it could take him over 20 years for an educator to earn more than her $54,000 in Texas.
The task force recommends that lawmakers raise the minimum wage schedule and change it to support smaller, rural school districts that often pay above the minimum wage and reward effective teachers.
It also recommends subsidizing required exam costs for special education and bilingual teachers and offering financial incentives to school districts. Two areas with significant staffing shortages across the state.
“We have to be pretty relentless in our efforts to try to support them,” Moras said. “This includes compensation. This includes issues related to work-life balance and working conditions. Generally, the type of training and support we provide. is very important to us and very difficult to do.”
The report also highlights problems with the state’s teacher retirement system, saying Texas school districts donate an average of $330 to health care. This is significantly lower than the average monthly employer contribution calculated in Texas of $827.
Task force members recommended to Congress to increase the state’s contribution to medical insurance premiums for current and retired teachers.
According to Morath, the average experience of teachers in Texas has declined significantly over the past few decades.
“The teachers you were most likely to meet in 1985 had 10 years of experience,” Morath said. “The teacher you’re most likely to encounter in the last decade is her first grader.”
The report quotes a Texas superintendent in the report. “We are facing the financial hardships many of our staff are facing and new challenges to their health that could cause future teachers to reconsider their decisions.”
State legislators called on local school districts to rehire retired teachers when they passed a law requiring school systems to pay for pensions and medical expenses, according to the task force.
Congress is asking the legislature to temporarily help school districts pay the additional costs of hiring retirees until teacher turnover becomes more manageable.
“For the last six to seven years, the number one priority we have been operating is recruitment support retaining teachers and principals,” Morath says. “We know teachers are the most important in-school factor influencing student achievement, and we must continue to work hard to support them.”
https://www.kxan.com/investigations/texas-governors-taskforce-takes-on-teacher-shortage-crisis-in-new-report/ Texas Governor’s Task Force Addresses Teacher Shortage Crisis With New Report