Strayhorn urges lawmakers to boost budget for teacher pay
— reported by the Houston Business Journal
Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn released a new report Tuesday indicating that the state loses $13.8 billion annually by underpaying teachers.
She also called on Gov. Rick Perry and state lawmakers to fund a $4,000 across-the-board pay raise for all Texas teachers and fully restore state-funded health care supplements for all Texas educators in the upcoming special session of the Legislature.
The report also notes that Texas ranks 33rd in the United States in teacher salaries and more than 37,000 teachers in Texas are leaving the profession each year for better paying jobs.
She adds that students in classrooms with inexperienced or poorly prepared teachers are at greater risk of flunking and dropping out of school.
Strayhorn’s report reveals that high school drop-outs in Texas chew up some $11.8 billion in social services, incarceration and welfare expenses. By adding in the cost of teacher training and recruitment and other expenses, that price tag jumps to $13.8 billion, the report states.