78S41235 ESH-D

By:  Shapleigh                                                    S.B. No. 17 

relating to additional funding to school districts for teacher salaries. BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the Texas Teacher Pay Raise for Excellence Act. SECTION 2. LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS. (a) The legislature finds that in 1999, researchers with the Texas Education Excellence Project (TEEP) at Texas A&M University conducted a study, using a multiple regression analysis, and found a strong relationship between higher salaries for public school teachers and improved student performance on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS). The results showed this relationship was especially true in connection with students from low-income backgrounds. The researchers predicted that a one-time $1,000 increase in average annual teacher salaries would produce significant results on average TAAS scores over a five-year period. (b) The legislature also finds that if annual teacher salaries were increased more than $1,000, there would likely be an even larger impact on standardized test performance than that found by the research described by Subsection (a) of this section. The average salaries of Texas teachers, however, still rank below the national averages, especially when employee benefits are included. In 2001, Texas' average teacher salary was approximately $5,000 less than the national average. Comparing average teacher salaries to earnings in the private sector places Texas near the bottom at 49th in the nation for 2001-2002. Many Texas school districts face competition with the private sector in their efforts to attract educated and talented people to the teaching profession. (c) The legislature also finds that in order to attract and retain high-quality teachers, Texas must establish a competitive salary scale for public school teachers. The purpose of this Act is to raise teacher salaries in order to attract better-qualified teachers to help our children succeed academically. SECTION 3. TEACHER SALARY SUPPLEMENT. Subchapter I, Chapter 21, Education Code, is amended by adding Section 21.4031 to read as follows: Sec. 21.4031. SALARY SUPPLEMENT. (a) From funds appropriated for the purpose, each school district is entitled to an annual allotment equal to $1,000 for each full-time equivalent classroom teacher. (b) Each full-time classroom teacher is entitled to a salary supplement from the allotment in the amount of $800. A part-time classroom teacher is entitled to a salary supplement proportionate to the percentage of full time worked by the teacher, as determined by the district in accordance with the rules of the commissioner. (c) The balance of the district's annual allotment may be used by the district to pay: (1) an additional salary supplement for all classroom teachers; or (2) an additional salary supplement for only those teachers who teach in the areas of math, science, reading, or bilingual education and in which the district has identified a critical shortage of qualified teachers. (d) A salary supplement is not considered in determining whether the district is paying a teacher the minimum monthly salary under Section 21.402. (e) The commissioner may adopt rules as necessary to implement this section. SECTION 4. APPLICABILITY. This Act applies beginning with the 2004-2005 school year. SECTION 5. EFFECTIVE DATE. This Act takes effect immediately if it receives a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this Act takes effect on the 91st day after the last day of the legislative session.