East Texas teachers hope for more funding from state lawmakers

Lawmakers could take up teacher's pay

(KSLA) - School districts across Texas are hoping the next few days will bring a boost for both educators and home owners as the 2019 legislative session begins in Austin.

Rep. Gary VanDeaver of New Boston has school funding high on his agenda.

“Our funding system is old it was put in place in the 80′s and it really has not had a real overhaul since then, said Rep. VanDeaver.

VanDeaver is a former school superintendent and says adjustments are needed in school funding to keep well-qualified teachers in the classroom.

“It has gotten where public schools can’t compete with local industries for teachers," said VanDeaver. "Because teachers can make more working somewhere else than they can in teaching.”

Mary Thrapp has taught in the public schools for nearly 25 years. Thrapp and others in the Liberty-Eylau district say something needs to be done.

“You know so much is riding on our jobs I feel like a lot of the time we lose good teachers simply because the money is not there,” said Thrapp.

According to Salary.com, a website specializing in compensation data, the average salary for a public school teacher in Texas ranges from $46,000-$62,000 a year, depending on education, certifications and tenure.

The rise in property taxes in the state, which are tied into school funding, is another issue legislators plan on discussing.

“The thing is, every dollar increased from local taxpayers they decrease those dollars from state money. So while local taxpayers are paying more money, the schools aren’t necessarily getting more money,” according to Liberty-Eylau ISD spokesman Matt Fry.

Copyright 2019 KSLA. All rights reserved.