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Texas Schools Struggle to Pay Raises After State Cuts Funds

You are currently viewing Texas Schools Struggle to Pay Raises After State Cuts Funds
Schools face a difficult design: debt or taking care of their teachers.
  • Post category:News

Texas recently wrapped up its annual legislative session in which the allot budgets for different government-funded operations. They ended their session without distributing any money into the budgets for schools to provide teachers with their annual raises. Schools are left having to individually scrounge for the money to give their teachers the raises. Several schools and districts are having to even go so far as to dig into their emergency savings accounts.

Several schools have announced that they are prioritizing taking care of their teachers no matter what.

A superintendent of a local Texas school district specifically said, “We’ve taken the position that in the absence of state leadership, we’re going to take care of our staff, even if it means that we have a deficit budget.” In his statement where he calls out the state’s budgetary legislators, Ott points out something very essential in this fight: that they are doing all that they can to take care of their staff. School administrators know, especially in a post-pandemic world, how important it is to take care of their staff.

Without the budgeted raise money, they could easily lose teachers, especially while in the transitional summer months, when most teachers are not working at the moment. If they do not get a raise, they were told they would get, many might feel inclined to not come back to teach the next school year, leaving the school, students, and community at a loss.

If the district that Superintendent Ott works in ends up having to pull from their savings and rework their budget as severely as they expect to in order to pay for the raises, then they will most likely end up in a $2.2 million hole. This hole would even account for the budget cuts that all department heads were asked to make in anticipation of this restrictive budgeting. District leaders worry about proceeding into the next school year with a deficit budget. Most school boards have policies in place that require schools to keep a specific amount of money in a savings account or school fund account, which a deficit budget directly goes against.

This could leave schools in dangerous financial situations that ultimately put the jobs of all staff and the education of all students at risk.

Proceeding into the new school year, many Texans are worried as schools are left stuck between a rock and a hard place over deciding to proceed with the deficit budget in order to properly take care of their teachers, or risk losing teachers over not being able to provide the raise.