Texas Will Pay Top Teachers $100,000 Salaries to Build Back State’s Poorest Schools

·2 min read

Hardworking teachers are getting a much-deserved raise in Texas.

The 74 reports that the Lone Star State plans to pay some of its best teachers more than $100,000 as a reward for working in low-income communities where COVID-19 has caused extensive learning loss.

This new effort is being led by 193 teachers in San Antonio where extra days of tutoring and intervention—during holiday breaks, after school, and during the summer—will be required to get students back up to speed.

It's extra work worthy of more pay.

"We need our best teachers to be able to do this work," Mohammed Choudhury, San Antonio ISD Associate Superintendent of Strategy, Talent, and Innovation, told The 74. "We need them to extend their work and their leadership beyond their classroom to not only be able to move beyond COVID-19, but to build back better."

Right now, the average teacher salary in San Antonio ISD is $57,000. Teachers with the highest designation at San Antonio ISD's lowest-income schools will make an extra $26,500 this year. With additional stipends, some teachers are expected to make over $100,000.

The funds will reportedly come from the Texas Education Agency's Teacher Incentive Allotment, a program designed to incentivize teachers in poor areas—the same communities ravaged by the pandemic.

"It's built on what we know, hands down," Choudhury told The 74. "Put aside any other frills. The adult in front of the classroom is the most important individual in that child's life inside school."

So far, 82 districts and charter schools have been approved or are in the process of receiving funds from the Teacher Incentive Allotment.

Longview ISD Chief Human Resources Officer John York told The 74 that incentive pay has helped recruit talented teachers and keep them in districts plagued by high turnover.

While the teachers are the ones taking home the extra money, in York's opinion, "the kids are the winners."