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Texas teachers

From Texas Standard:

The Texas Legislature passed a multibillion-dollar school finance bill during its most recent session. The funds provide a pay increase for teachers and other members of school staff. But now comes the hard part: how to actually apportion those raises.

Students in Michelle Olivarri's third grade class celebrate getting the right answer on a computer game in January 2019.
Camille Phillips | Texas Public Radio

As a master teacher at the San Antonio Independent School District, Michelle Olivarri gets a $15,000 stipend to teach at a school with a history of low student outcomes.

During a reading lesson in her third grade classroom earlier this semester, sounds of excitement blended with energetic music from a computer game on the parts of a story.

“I’m in second,” shouted one student after filling in his answer on a tablet.

“I’m in fourth,” said another. “Ms. Olivarri, I was on fire!”


San Antonio teachers board charter buses to Austin for a rally at the capitol as daybreaks Mar. 11, 2019.
Camille Phillips | Texas Public Radio

Hundreds of educators from across Texas traveled to Austin Monday to spend the first day of their spring break rallying for increased state funding for public schools.

From Texas Standard:

The Texas Senate Committee on Finance held a public hearing Monday to discuss a bill that would give a $5,000 pay raise to full-time teachers across the state. But before it passed in the committee, there was pushback from a group of school professionals who testified the bill’s definition of “full-time teacher” wasn’t adequate.

 

From Texas Standard:

As Texas lawmakers begin tackling one of this session's top legislative priorities – school finance reform – a state Senate measure proposes giving public-school teachers a raise. How much money is on the table and what difference would it make for teachers living paycheck to paycheck? It depends on whom you ask and where you live.

Gates Elementary teacher Kayla John laughs at a drawing a student drew of her during guided reading in January 2019. San Antonio ISD pays her an extra $15,000 stipend as a master teacher.
Camille Phillips | Texas Public Radio

Four years ago, Gates Elementary on San Antonio’s east side was on the state’s list of failing schools. Only 15 percent of its students were reading at grade level.

Now Gates is one of the fastest improving campuses in the San Antonio Independent School District. School officials credit its success in part to teachers like Kayla John.


From Texas Standard:

Rural school districts are far away from the bustle of Texas cities and suburbs. But with those wide open spaces come fewer students – and limited access to services and supplies they need. And all that can add up.

Texas school districts make it work through extra planning, and by making tough choices.

In Texas, Rural Teachers Face A Big Pay Gap

Jan 29, 2019

From Texas Standard:

Texas ranks 28th in teacher salaries, according to the most recent data. Teachers here make about $7,000 less than the national average. But that could change, with some legislators and state leaders talking about an across-the-board raise.

Sounds great, right? Well, maybe not for rural teachers, who can lag significantly behind their urban and suburban counterparts, compensation-wise.

From Texas Standard:

Monday, about 34,000 teachers will walk off the job in Los Angeles – a move described as "historic." It echoes what happened almost a year ago when a West Virginia teacher walkout triggered similar strikes elsewhere in the US. Teachers all over the country are lobbying for higher pay.

Here in Texas, 10 percent of all first-year teachers leave their jobs before their second year. Better pay may be key to keeping more of them in the classroom, and last week, top state lawmakers pledged that 2019 will be the "Year of the Teacher" in the Texas Legislature, promising to boost salaries. But there's still many details yet to be decided.

From Texas Standard:

"What My Students Taught Me" is produced in partnership with the Teacher Project at Columbia Journalism School.

For her first four years teaching history at Lakeview High School in the Dallas suburb of Garland, Karen Sowers didn’t have any big challenges. That changed the day she met Donald Pierson, 29 years ago.

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