East Texas teachers react to proposed $5,000 pay increase

Bill proposes annual $5,000 pay raise for public school teachers

East Texas teachers react to proposed $5,000 pay increase

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - A bill in the Texas Senate is proposing a big pay increase for Texas teachers. If passed, Senate Bill 3 would give every full-time teacher a $5,000 pay raise.

3rd grade teacher Lisa Hughes has been a teacher for 28 years, 25 of them at Tyler ISD. Her first salary in 1985? $16,200.

This week’s news of a proposed increase has Hughes and other teachers cautiously optimistic.

“So many of us are working second jobs in the summer," Hughes said. "And I think that would eliminate some of that. “And I also think it would validate the fact that we are professionals.”

Professionals working in a field that is struggling to attract the next generation.

“Texas, as well as many other states, are lacking in educators,” Hughes said. “Lots of boys and girls that are leaving high school and going into college are not going into the education field primarily because of the money they would be making.”

Money that TISD Superintendent Marty Crawford says could help boost morale.

“We’re already performing very well,” Crawford said. “But at the same time, we need to recruit teachers for the ones that are retiring. And recruit that talent into our profession, so we can focus on outcomes and improve the Texas miracle.”

A miracle that Hughes says isn’t all about the money, but those who are impacted by what many consider the most noble profession.

“We’re validated everyday by the children that we see," Hughes said. "The ones that come back after 20 years, that still remember your name and you remember theirs. But just having that increase, that large of an increase at this time would be a wonderful thing for everyone.”

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