WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - A house bill making its way to the Governor’s desk has local school districts excited.
House Bill 3 is a funding bill that is estimated to make billions of dollars of difference for schools across the state.
Teachers, nurses and other staff are expected to see raises in the coming year.
Some think this can help keep teachers in the profession, but others say there’s still more to be done.
“Lots of teachers in our state (are) at retirement age or beyond, and we don’t have that many students coming in the education system, going into college and then graduating with teaching certifications,” WFISD Superintendent Michael Kuhrt said.
House Bill 3 has a lot to like, lowering property taxes, increasing funding per student and giving more money to teachers.
“I think you have increases in people coming into the teaching profession if there’s more of a livable wage attached to that,” Kuhrt said.
Right now, the profession has seen a drop off as some who are considering becoming teachers decide on a different major, or leave after a few years.
“It may help some teachers who have considered leaving the field who have to have two jobs to get by, to reconsider that and stay in the teaching profession in the first place,” Matthew Capps said.
The Dean of Education at MSU Texas, Capps says research shows the reason teachers are leaving isn’t only because of pay.
“It has to deal with the bureaucracy, the paperwork, the testing, the extra hours they have to put in above and beyond what they’re contracted for," he said. "A lot of teachers spend a lot of time in training in the summer, they’re not paid or compensated for that. They do it because they know it’s the right thing to do.”
Kuhrt also hopes there are more possibilities for payscale flexibility, with some teachers not seeing large raises over their time at schools.
“Hopefully they’ve adjusted the system because they said they want a more professional workforce, with more people in the profession, and then they want to be able to retain veteran teachers,” he said.
The bill also brings more funding to pre-kindergarten programs, funding full-day pre-K. WFISD previously offered full-day pre-K with only part of the funding coming from the state.