Good Bills of the Week: Rep. Talarico Announces Bill to Give Raises to Teachers, Support Staff

At a press conference at the Capitol this past Tuesday, Rep. James Talarico (D-Austin) announced a bill, HB 1548, that would provide certified educators with a $15,000 raise and all other full-time, non-administrative school staff with a 25% raise. 

Talarico was joined by several legislators who signed onto the bill, as well as representatives from Texas AFT and Education Austin President Ken Zarifis. Trustees from Austin ISD’s school board, many of whom are former classroom educators, joined the press conference to emphasize the importance of these raises in retaining high-quality educators. 

Texas AFT’s Respect Agenda calls on the Texas Legislature to provide raises of at least $10,000 for certified educators and raises of at least 15% for other full-time staff in order to meaningfully address the teacher retention crisis.

In addition to Talarico’s bill, legislators in both the House and Senate have continued to file legislation favorable to educators and that addresses our Respect Agenda demands: 

  • HB 1218 by Rep. J.M. Lozano (R-Kingsville) would provide a 6% cost-of-living adjustment capped at $100 per month for all TRS members who retired before August 2021.
  • SB 574 by Sen. Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio) would set up a system to compensate victims of school gun violence and their families.
  • SB 112 by Sen. José Menéndez (D-San Antonio) would require students to complete at least one mental health course while in high school that satisfies the instruction requirements regarding depression, anxiety, eating disorders, schizophrenia, and other mental health disorders.