Not So Simple Economics…or Maybe It Is!!!

According to Teacher Retirement System (TRS) there were 1,003,655 active public school or higher education employees and 331,747 TRS Retirees that receive benefits. With a 2012 statewide population, the means that 5.06% of all the people in the “Great State of Texas” are school employees or retired school employees. They live here, eat here, purchase goods here and yes, PAY TAXES HERE!”

 If you pay school people more, then they will spend more. If they spend more, then the state will receive more tax revenue. In this particular case, I’m speaking for educators. If the state would pay educators and school personnel a greater salary, then they would then receive that money back in the form of taxes and other revenue. If they make more money, then they will buy houses instead of renting which translates to more property tax money.

 According to Texas Ranks:

23rd in starting teacher salary at $34,234 (TEA State Minimum $27,320, a difference of $6,914)

30th in average teacher salary at $48,635

35th in percentage of increase the last ten years at 26%

14th in level of comfort (able to live comfortable comparing salary with expenses)

Highest Starting Salary: New Jersey $48,101

Lowest Starting Salary: Montana $26,734

Highest Average Salary: New York $72,708

Lowest Average Salary: South Dakota $39,850

Highest Percentage of Salary Increase: Wyoming 61% Increase

Lowest Percentage of Salary Increase: North Carolina 12% Increase

Highest Comfort: Connecticut

Lowest Comfort: Hawaii

 The bottom line is that the State of Texas does not pay its educators enough. It does not value them or the service that they provide to the citizens of this state. In the past ten years, there have been health insurance rate increases they were passed on to the districts and the employees, while the state has failed add any additional funds for insurance premiums since the program began.

 In 2010 they provided an $800 raise for all classroom teachers but only funded it for one year of the biennium which meant the districts had to pay it from their funds in year two of the biennium. In 2010-2011 the insurance premiums increased 4.5% across the board.

 New teachers entering their second year of teaching, getting paid based on the state minimum scale, would  receive a 2.16% raise and 4.5% insurance rate increase….PAY CUT!!!

 Based on the current expectations of the State of Texas and NCLB, they want a heard of “thoroughbreds” to be educators but want to pay for a heard of “mules”. You get what you pay for.

 It is time for a policy that mandates raises from the state that exceeds the yearly increase in premiums. Right now it is time for a $5000 across the board raise. If all educators receive a pay raise then that money will find its way back to the state via more spending. It’s simple economics. Consider it “Paying it Forward”.

 David R. Taylor

25 Year Teacher, Coach and Princpal

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