If you receive the letter below as a link from your district, don’t sign it! Instead please:
Here is what is being distributed by some districts:
A Letter from Texas Educators to Texas Legislators
April 10, 2019
We, the undersigned educators, applaud you, the members of the 86th Texas Legislature, for making public education your top priority this session and for putting substantial investments behind your commitment. We are writing with the sincerest hope that these funds are spent effectively to improve the lives and futures of the 5.4 million students in our state.
We believe that our profession deserves to be a centerpiece of this discussion about how best to ensure school finance reform truly benefits students. We feel this moment offers a unique opportunity to advance our profession in a direction that has the power to attract the next generation of Texas educators while developing and recognizing us for the difference we make in the lives of our students.
We respectfully ask that school finance legislation follow these guiding principles:
- Allow educators to earn significantly more sooner in their careers based on their demonstrated impact. We have seen far too many great teachers leave the classroom to pursue administrative roles or other fields to support themselves and their families. More concerning is that far too many of our state’s most talented young people never consider entering the classroom because of the profession’s limited earning potential.
- Enable every educator to receive the differentiated support needed to improve their practice. We believe that great teachers are made, not born. When we get quality feedback and coaching, we refine our craft and our students thrive. Unfortunately, we have also witnessed the frustration of dedicated teachers who have rarely, if ever, benefited from development opportunities that meet them where they are. This is only made possible with meaningful feedback from instructional experts and objective student learning data. Without these systems, far too many teachers will remain stagnant in their practice while their students fail to benefit from improved instruction.
- Recognize and reward effective educators to expand their impact on students and fellow teachers. The fortunate among us have benefited from the mentorship of a highly effective educator, while far too many have struggled or left the classroom without this guidance. We need systems that identify and then compensate our most effective peers to mentor those new to the field and provide instructional leadership to others. This can be done most fairly by using multiple measures to evaluate our effectiveness and impact as educators.
- Send a strong signal that Texas treats its educators like professionals and compensates them for the contributions they make to our state. The true economic value of a great teacher can be difficult to measure. While such calculations have been attempted and debated, there is little doubt that effective educators are the foundational drivers of our economy and societal well-being. Few would debate that a great teacher is deserving of a six-figure salary, yet virtually no Texas teachers currently earn this kind of living nor is it a realistic aspiration in most compensation systems. Now is the time to change this reality and forever change the trajectory of the profession.
In closing, we ask you to consider the historic opportunity before you. The legislation you deliver this session has the potential to impact not only the next two years but the next several decades for teachers and students across our great state. Thank you for your consideration and leadership.
Teacher Name, Grade Level, School District Name
To add your name in support of this letter, fill out this simple form: (Link not provided here!)