On Wednesday morning the Senate Education Committee approved its version of the school finance plan, and we now expect the full Senate to vote on it this Friday! Texas AFT believes we need school finance reform, but we are concerned that the Senate plan would base teacher pay on standardized test scores and student surveys.
That’s where you come in. We need your help to let your Senator know that we oppose pay for performance schemes and support paying our educators fairly. Please call you state senator now!
Don’t worry. We won’t send you to speak to your senator without a little preparation. Below you can find a sample of what to say to the staffer who answers the phone, and some tips for making your conversation have the most impact. (You’ll also see this script in front of you when you make your call.)
“My name is (your name), and I am a voter and a constituent of your district. I am calling today to talk to your office about HB 3.
HB 3 is a critical first step for funding our future. However, I am concerned about the pay-for-performance scheme included in this bill, and I am asking for you to reject any plan that requires already underpaid educators to compete for scarce funding.
Paying teachers based on standardized tests never intended for this purpose moves our state in the wrong direction. Additionally, student surveys have shown bias against educators of color, women, and those who teach higher grades. It doesn’t make sense for a child to decide a grownup’s paycheck.
I also believe the $5,000 pay raise in the bill needs to be extended beyond librarians and teachers to all members of the education community. While teachers make about $7,000 less than the national average, some of our support professionals do not not even make a living wage. All employees in public education need a raise.
Thank you for your consideration of these issues in HB 3, and for your support of educators.”
A final few tips to remember:
- Be overly polite and respectful. The staffer answering your call gets a lot of them, and this goes a long way.
- State your position on the issue, then explain why it’s important to you. If you have a brief story of why your position is important from your experiences please add that in!
- Be brief! And end by expressing appreciation for legislators’ hard work on issues, and thank them or their staff for listening to your concerns or support.
Texas AFT thanks you for being a part of this effort today! Together we can make a real difference.