Texas school finance plan centered around teacher pay raises, me

Texas school finance plan centered around teacher pay raises, merit-based program

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

After months of debate and discourse, the Texas legislature has agreed on a comprehensive, multi-billion dollar school finance plan. 

"I said we will do what no one thought was possible: We will finally fix school finance in Texas," Gov. Abbott said.

With $6.4 billion set to go towards education reform, Lubbock ISD Chief Financial Officer Jeff Baum said that number shows how this legislature lived up to its promise.
    
"The state of Texas has been 43rd nationally in education spending on a per pupil basis for quite some time now. I think this is a great shot in the arm to us. This is the broad sweeping reform that we have been waiting on," Baum said.

The budget also includes $2 billion in dynamic teacher compensation.

Lubbock ISD Superintendent Kathy Rollo said this is a long time coming for the lifeblood of our education system.

"The number of teachers, or potential teachers, has been dwindling over the last decade at tremendous numbers, so this is finally a way for us to attract high-quality people to the profession, retain the ones we have, and reward them for the work they do," Rollo said.

Also in the bill is $140 million set towards a merit-based program for teacher performance.

Baum said the district has had this implemented since 2010, but this will provide much needed funding.

"Our biggest complaint with the system is that we're using local dollars and it is not a sustainable plan. So hopefully with these new dollars from the state, we'll be able to sustain that plan long term and possibly expand on that plan," Baum said.

With raises and more pay incentives for our teachers, Superintendent Rollo said this is the best investment the legislature can make. 

"It's the future of our economy. It's the future of our workforce. It's the future of Texas and the future of our nation. So I'm grateful they finally recognized that and have made our children a priority," Rollo said.
 

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