About 40 percent of Texas teachers expect to take on other jobs outside of the classroom in order "to meet family expenses," according to the Texas State Teachers Association.
Data collected by the National Education Association for 2017 shows the average salary for teachers nationwide at just under $60,000. Texas is ranked number 29 in the country for teacher salaries at an average of $52,575.
Educators in states across the nation have gone on strike for better compensation, but Texas teachers are discouraged from joining the picket lines, as engaging in “organized work stoppage” could result in loss of certification or retirement benefits.
The Texas education system is also facing problems regarding educator pensions. At least 3,600 teachers have left the state's retirement plan as the public pension system considers raising premiums for healthcare.
What short and long-term expenses do educators consider in their profession and how can these decisions affect their families? In what ways can the next Texas legislative session address education issues, including teacher pay and benefits?
What needs to be done to ensure that we take care of those charged with educating the next generation of Texans?
- Tim Lee, executive director of the Texas Retired Teachers Association
- Noel Candelaria, president of the Texas State Teachers Association
- Julie Chang, staff writer for the Austin-American Statesman