House approves teacher pay, retention bills | TCTA
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House approves teacher pay, retention bills

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Wednesday’s House floor debate included the two major teacher bills from the House, HB 11 (Rep. Harold Dutton) and HB 100 (Rep. Ken King).

As it passed the House on its initial vote Wednesday, HB 11 no longer includes salary provisions (leaving that topic to HB 100) but focuses on other measures intended to help address the teacher shortage – though not necessarily ones requested by most teachers. A key program centers on teacher preparation, creating a statewide residency program that has been shown to help with retention of new teachers. The bill also expands the Teacher Incentive Allotment, adding a new base designation of “acknowledged,” raising the amounts of most levels of designation awards, and creating a grant program to help districts develop their local designation programs. Less than 5% of Texas teachers benefit from the TIA program. Other provisions include free pre-K for teachers’ children, and a “time study” of teacher work hours including time spent on work outside of the normal work day.

HB 100 is in part a school finance bill, increasing the basic allotment by $90 in 2024, and another $50 in 2025. It includes provisions that require districts to use 50% of new funding for teacher salary increases. Increasing the basic allotment is helpful to districts and is estimated to put around $4.5 billion of new funding into schools, but many districts are pointing out that it falls far short of even accounting for inflation since the last time the basic allotment was raised, in 2019. As it passed the House, HB 100 retains its restructuring of the teacher salary schedule. Rather than steps from 0 to 20 based on the teacher’s experience, minimum salaries would be based on the teacher’s level of certification (not certified, intern/probationary certificate, or base certificate), whether the teacher has a Teacher Incentive Allotment designation, and ranges of years of experience (less than 5, 5-9, 10+). As examples, a teacher with less than five years who has a base certificate and no TIA designation has a minimum salary of $40,000, while a teacher with 10 or more years with a base certificate and with a TIA designation has a minimum salary of $63,000. The schedule maxes out at 10 years of experience.

Both bills are expected to receive final approval in the House Thursday and will move on to the Senate.