HOUSTON — Teachers want higher incomes, and better funded budgets...and they want it now!
West Virginia teachers walked out for nine days and got 5% wage increases. Now other states are following suit. Is Texas next?
“The possibility of seeing action like this in the state of Texas is very high, there's no less level of anger in Texas. The one difference...our legislator only meets once every other year rather than every year,” President Zeph Capo of the Houston Federation of Teachers said.
It's also extra risky for Texas teachers, seeing as how it's illegal for public employees to strike in this state.
Parents we talked to are all for increasing budgets for education, but when it comes to paying more taxes to fund it.
And teachers in HISD might be a bit less likely to protest, with some hoping just to keep their jobs. That's because HISD is looking to close a $115 million budget shortfall.
The latest proposal? Lowering the budget for HISD schools by nearly $200 per student that attends each specific school, and letting the principal of each school figure out where to cut.
“It's a band-aid." Capo said. "It's not the fix we need to move forward with.”
Lower income areas may be hit harder by a drop of $200 per student— more so than areas of town where fewer school services are required.
“If we want our kids that are coming in with less resources, less exposure, less opportunity to be safe and well, healthy, getting into the door and we expect them to do as well on the test or the school to do as well at educating them as another school, then we`re going to have to put more resources they`re prepared and ready to do that,” Capo suggests.
It's a $115 million problem— and the answer could have long ranging effects on HISD student education.