Texas Teachers will now see a boost to minimum base salaries in their districts, thanks to a new bill signed into law this summer.
The move is part of a wide-sweeping measure to help give administrators the ability to recruit and retain more qualified teachers in the wake of a statewide teacher shortage.
Texas has struggled to fill open teaching positions, especially in the areas of:
Bilingual/English as a Second Language - Elementary and Secondary Levels
Special Education - Elementary and Secondary Levels
Career and Technical Education - Secondary Levels
Mathematics - Secondary Levels
In June, Texas Governor House Greg Abbott signed House Bill 3 after the 86th Legislature approval. These compensation increases should begin with the 2019-20 school year, according to the Texas Education Agency (TEA).
The bill also includes other measures including increases to retirement contributions, increases to the basic allotment and guidance on how increases should be distributed within the districts.
As an educator or student training to become an educator, you may have questions about how HB3 will impact your salary, benefits and opportunities. Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about this new legislation.
How Did The Basic Allotment Change?
Basic allotment is the amount of funding a district receives to cover the costs associated with providing basic instructional programming to an “average” student in an “average” district.
With the approval of HB3, basic allotment in Texas increased from $5,140 to $6,160, according to the TEA.
The law mandates that 30% of funds that come from the state be used for pay raises for full-time employees. Of these funds:
75% must go toward teachers, nurses, counselors and librarians.
25% must go toward non-administrative staff members.
Who Is Impacted By Changes To The Minimum Salary Requirements?
In addition to classroom teachers, the new minimum salary requirements impact:
Full-time counselors certified under Subchapter B, Chapter 21
Full-time registered nurses
It will be against the law for a school district to pay less than the state’s base salary, which is reflected by an individual’s years of experience.
How Much Did Base Salaries Increase?
HB3 increased the minimum salary schedule by $5,500 to $9,000 per creditable year of service. Those with longer years of service will benefit from the higher end of this range.
The new minimum Texas teacher salary schedule calculator is as follows:
Years of Experience
New Minimum Monthly Salary
New Minimum Annual Salary
How Will Retirement Contributions Change?
The increased minimum salary schedule also will mean the state will increase its contributions to the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) for everyone who is subject to the above schedule. This also means districts will pay less out of their own budgets to meet contribution requirements.
Lawmakers also amended language to specifically require Charters and Districts of Innovation (DOI) to pay the TRS state contribution on the amount above the minimum salary schedule.
What Is The Teacher Incentive Allotment?
HB3 also established an optional Teacher Incentive Allotment that has the goal of offering six-figure salaries to teachers who prioritize teaching in high-need areas and rural campuses, according to the TEA.
Funding will range from $3,000 to $32,000 per teacher per year, and uses a new Compensatory Education spectrum system. At least 90% of the funds must be spent on compensation of teachers at these campuses.
What Else Did HB3 Change?
The bill included several other areas of interest for school districts and educators. These include:
Establishing a Teacher Mentorship program to fund stipends to mentors and other costs associated with a mentoring teachers during the first two years of their position.
Creating a Do-Not-Hire Registry that ensures non-certified personnel will not work at schools if they have abused a child or had an inappropriate relationship with a minor.
Requiring full day Pre-K for 4-year-olds in which the programs must comply with high-quality measures in the statute.
Requiring a candidate earning a certificate to teach Pre-K through grade 6 to demonstrate proficiency in the science of teaching reading on a certification examination by Jan. 1, 2021. Areas of focus on the exam are phonological awareness, sight recognition, language structure and verbal reasoning.
The bill also increases support for special education, students in grades K-3 who are educationally disadvantaged, and improving college, career and military readiness.
Where Can I Learn More Information?
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) recently announced the launch of a new web video series called "HB3 In 30" that provides additional information about the bill. The videos are geared toward school districts and the public, and explain how to implement the measures included in HB3.
The videos also contain information on how TEA is implementing applicable changes to public education reflecting the new legislation.
An overview of HB3 also can be found on the TEA website, along with answers to frequently asked questions.
Micah is the Director of Curriculum & Technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in British Literature, from the University of North Texas and a Master of Arts in Teaching, from Louisiana College. In his previous career, Micah served for 14 years as a banker and bank manager. For the majority of this period, Micah managed the Downtown Fort Worth location of Frost Bank.
In 2005, Micah finally surrendered to his true calling to be an educator. After a brief, but fulfilling term teaching high school English at Flower Mound High School in Lewisville ISD, Micah went to work for the family business, training teachers.
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