SAN ANGELO, TX - Being creative in the classroom to guide the youth of tomorrow is a challenge every day for Texas teachers, but lately being creative with local dollars to increase teacher pay has been another. Senora Scott takes a look at both.
"Our kids will compete for college spots, for jobs, globally,” Matt Kimball, Assistant Superintendent of H.R. for SAISD said.
A workshop for SAISD teachers highlighted just that. It also served as a confidence builder and brainstorming headquarters.
"Hearing it from other teachers where they're saying you need to flip your classroom, let the students be in charge of their own education and you just kinda help them out, is really giving me confidence that I'm doing something right in my classroom,” History and Pre-AP teacher at Central Freshman Campus Kelcey Herrera said.
This entire workshop is about technology and how it's used in a variety of career fields from the military to agriculture, the main goal showcase its versatility and inspire students.
"You're gonna face using technology whether it's a mechanic, whether it's a welder, whether it's in college, all pathways beyond high school lead through technology,” Kimball said.
But there's another profession that's gaining statewide headlines.
"There are a lot of people who feel that teachers are underpaid, and I agree with that. I think that, not necessarily as far as salary goes, but we're definitely underrated. Teachers are not given the credit that they deserve,” Herrera said.
A proposal in the Texas legislature right now aims to change that. Stating that school districts will give every teacher a one thousand dollar raise.
"A thousand teachers, a thousand dollars, that's about a million dollars budget impact to our district,” Jeff Bright, Assistant Superintendent for SAISD said.
Where the funding is going to come from is up in the air. Overall the one thousand dollar a year raise equates to around 80 bucks a paycheck - may not sound like a lot to some, but to others it is.
"Every dollar helps but again, I think that teachers are underrated, we need that boost definitely,” Herrera said.
While the raise could help teachers, it's likely to put school districts in a bind.
"Really the two big issues are timing, our budget process is almost over and there are many districts around that state who have completed their budget, and so to add this on top of that would be a very hard thing to swallow and if it was that important, it should have been done in the regular session and not be a surprise issue in the special session,” Bright said.
Each special session lasts 140 days and in this session, Governor Greg Abbott is planning to address 19 other topics along with these raises.
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