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Lawmakers start rolling out high-priority legislation

AUSTIN — With the filing of legislation that would give teachers an across-the-board pay increase, Texas lawmakers showed progress toward solving the complex issues of school finance and property tax reform.

Senate Bill 3, passed March 4 by the full Senate on a voice vote, would entitle each classroom teacher and full-time librarian to a state-financed $5,000 increase above their 2018-2019 school year salary. The bill would not stop school districts from providing merit-based raises to teachers in addition to the state’s $5,000 increase.

Authored by Senate Finance Committee Chair Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, SB 3, if approved by the House, would make the raise effective for the school year beginning in the fall. Nelson said it would cost $4 billion to give the state’s estimated 350,000 teachers the raise, and that funds to cover the pay hike will be in the state budget.



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