Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is running for re-election this year and recycling a claim he made in last year’s special legislative session that he proposed a $10,000 average pay raise for teachers. He did indeed hold a press conference on the eve of that special session last July touting a pay-raise plan, but it turned out to be a hollow public-relations stunt. We said so at the time, expressing our disappointment with Patrick’s idea in this July 13 press release from Texas AFT President Louis Malfaro:
Dan Patrick’s unfunded plan for school finance and teacher pay is not a serious proposal
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s numbers just didn’t add up to a serious school-finance plan today as he threw out a flurry of proposals for increased teacher compensation without offering any new state money to pay for them.
Professing his devotion to funding for education and teachers, Patrick quoted the Bible: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” But in reality he is insisting that our schools do more with less—that they make bricks without straw.
For all the rhetoric he used, what his proposals come down to is no new money for education. Instead, educators are directed to reprioritize existing funds. School districts would be asked to stretch already thin budgets even more.
In essence, he’s saying let’s pretend we have more dollars to work with, and then we can pretend to give teachers more money.
The Texas Legislature should increase per-pupil funding so that school districts can meet students’ needs.