On Wednesday, in a near-unanimous vote (one member voted no), the House passed HB 3 to address the most critical issue facing our state: public education.
It’s a pretty long bill, around 170 pages, so I won’t go through every major point, but here are a handful of highlights:
I am particularly proud of the last bullet.
There’s been a lot of talk about teacher pay. Most agree that we need to pay teachers more, but it’s how much and how we do it that that can spark debate.
To try and bridge a gap between proposals passed in the Senate and those being discussed in the House, I added an amendment to HB 3 to ensure that not only teachers, but librarians, nurses, counselors, educational aides, custodial workers, and other full-time support staff get a raise. This isn’t a one-time pay bump or a one-time bonus check, these employees will get a raise each and every time the Legislature increases basic allotment funding for our schools.
This amendment strikes the perfect balance by giving an across the board raise to teachers and support staff, making pay increases sustainable beyond the next two-year budget cycle, and ensuring that local districts have flexibility on how to use these additional funds for salaries.
In addition to receiving broad bipartisan support, my amendment was endorsed by every major teacher organization in Texas.
That’s huge. And now, we must get it through the Senate and across the finish line.
The teachers, the support staff, and most importantly, the children of our state, deserve nothing less.