Teachers across Texas are benefitting thanks to the passage of House Bill 3 June 11, which necessitates 30 percent of the $6.5 billion allotted for new public school spending to be used for staff pay raises.

A total of 75 percent of that 30 percent is to be used for teacher raises as well as for counselors, nurses and librarians. The rest goes for other staff members. 

Some local districts are claiming to be giving the most. 

Barbers Hill ISD approved a $60,000 salary for first-year teachers. 

In a tweet sent from Barbers Hill ISD Superintendent Dr. Greg Poole, he said, “BH releases our 2019-20 pay schedule & we lead the state at EVERY year of experience! BH board & community BELIEVES in our teachers.”

Goose Creek CISD boasted a $64,000 salary for first-year teachers on social media, but it turned out the actual base pay for their first-year teachers is $58,000 and the rest was part of a compensation plan.  

Susan Passmore, Goose Creek CISD spokeswoman, said the board approved a pay increase of $4,000 for teachers and said the “total compensation plan for first-year teachers is nearly $64,000.” 

“It is a total compensation plan, which includes benefits they’ll get in addition to their salary,” Passmore said. “It costs our district that much, nearly $64,000, to hire a first-year teacher. We pay all of this stuff like life insurance, $3,300 we pay for health insurance, and they get sick leave.”

Jami Navarre, BHISD spokeswoman, said the $60,000 her district approved does not include the compensation plan and is based on zero-years experience.  

“For BHISD, zero years experience gets the $60,000 base pay,” Navarre said. “They get insurance, but we do not include that when we give their salary.”

Also at BHISD, the district pays $250 per month for all employees’ benefits plus they also offer $1,200 to anyone that doesn’t take insurance. In addition, if any teacher has a master’s degree, they 

received $1,200 and $5,000 if they are a national board certified teacher. 

Navarre added every BHISD employee receives a $10,000 life insurance policy and $180 to encourage them to join the Eagle Pointe Wellness Center. 

“Our main focus is not to center on teachers with zero or one-year experience, but more on the teacher’s longevity,” Navarre said. “If a teacher spends 30 years of their career at BHISD rather than GCCISD, they ultimately make $200,000 more over a career. In 10 years, they make $8,200 more. If you’ve been here for 10 years, you make $8,259 more than an employee at (the district level).”

The idea is to attract a highly qualified teacher to the Barbers Hill district, Navarre said. 

“Keeping them in our district is important since we invest in them while they invest in the education of our kids,” Navarre said. 

In the area, Sheldon ISD has given its teachers a raise of 10 to 15 percent for its teachers, nurses, counselors, and librarians. Houston ISD also approved raises based on level of experience ranging from 3.5 to 8 percent.  

According to the Texas Education Agency website, the average base pay for teachers of all grades is $54,752. The TEA also said the average state salary for teachers in the 2017-2018 school year were $53,335. The beginning salary for teachers during the 2017-2018 school year, according to the TEA, was $47,667. 

The Education Service Center region shows Houston has a median teacher base pay of $54,236. The National Education Association has Texas in the middle for teacher pay across the nation. 

Districts in rural areas have some of the lowest teacher pay, with the median salary beginning at $33,610. The TEA says the median base salary in urban areas was $55,441 for the 2017-18 school year. 

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