Houston schools granted upwards of $100 M through new law; more calls for teacher pay raises

HOUSTON- Houston public schools are set to receive upwards of $100 million after House Bill 3 was signed into law.

At a news conference, the Houston Federation of Teachers, some Houston ISD trustees and parents called for the bulk of this new money to go towards teacher pay raises.

They’re saying that Houston teachers are among the worst-paid educators in the region and this influx of money should be the start of making their pay competitive. They want all of the newly approved state education funding to go towards pay raises for teachers and support staff and for investment in schools.

They want to make the public aware of their stance ahead of Tuesday night's public meeting where the budget and proposed tax rate will be discussed.

HISD District One trustee Elizabeth Santos sent an open letter on June 14 to interim superintendent Dr. Grenita Lathan about these raises, calling for a pay raise cost matrix for the board to consider and vote on during the regular board meeting.

“Waiting until July to approve raises would mean teachers would have to sign contracts before having any idea of what their pay will be next year," Santos said. "Failing to make this commitment to our educators is an insult to those who commit so much of themselves to our children.”

Overall, those that spoke out are saying enough is enough— they’re ready for teachers and support staff to be paid more.

“We have $100 million to $135 million new dollars that are coming in and every single one of those $100 million to $135 million needs to be in a staff raise or they need to be an investment on our school campuses. No and's, no if's, no but's about it," HFT President Zeph Capo said.

Capo went on to say  the organization will be at the meeting, reviewing and speaking out on the budget proposal. He said without a game plan on how to implement raises, they will be encouraging their trustees to vote down any proposal that comes out of the meeting.

The public meeting about the budget and proposed tax rate is going on June 18 at 4 p.m.  inside the HISD Educational Support Center.

Public participation is invited.

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