AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) – The Senate Finance Committee unanimously approved SB 3 by Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, providing a permanent $5,000 annual salary increase for every classroom teacher in the state.

In a news release, Senator Nelson (a former teacher) said: “The most important investment we can make in education is in our teachers. They are the key factor in preparing our students for success. It has been ten years since our teachers have received a pay raise from the state. Meanwhile their health care costs are going up. They are dipping into personal funds to pay for classroom items. And their overall cost of living is more expensive. We need to provide this salary increase in order to both attract and retain the very best educators for our Texas students.”

(Credit Thinkstock)

Specifically, SB 3:
· Establishes a new Classroom Teacher Salary Allotment;
· Directs that each classroom teacher is entitled to a $5000 salary increase above their 2018-19 school year salary;
· Specifies that raise is paid for by the state;
· Clarifies that this bill does not preclude districts from offering merit raises; and
· Ensures that districts may not use these dollars to supplant current salaries.

SB 1, the Senate’s base budget, includes $3.7B for SB 3. SB 3 now moves to the full Senate for further consideration.

Nelson represents District 12, including portions of Tarrant and Denton Counties. She is Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and the highest-ranking Republican in the Texas Senate.