Increasing the overall teacher salary, reducing the cost of teacher health insurance, and providing more incentives for special education and bilingual teachers are just some of the recommendations that the state’s Teacher Vacancy Task Force (TVTF) urged the state to implement. The recommendations were released this Friday in the TVTF’s final report. To raise salaries, the state should increase the amount of money it provides to schools, and districts should invest more in compensation.
This report was created to address the problem of education and teaching in Texas. According to the report, teachers earn 23.5 percent less than other comparable college graduates. Increasing the overall salary is one way to attract more people to become teachers and stop teachers from leaving the profession. “Increasing compensation for all educators is foundational to recruitment and retention efforts,” the report states.
Texas also has a problem with pay disparities between teachers in different areas. Teachers from rural areas earn less on average than those in urban areas. The report urges increasing rural teacher compensation to minimize these disparities.
Other recommendations in the report include reducing the cost of teacher healthcare insurance, recognizing the cost of childcare, and creating compensation for teacher well-being. The TVTF also suggests that the state should provide incentives for positions such as bilingual education and special education.
This residency program would be a full year of paid training in which a novice teacher would be paired with a mentor teacher for preparation. According to the TVFT, this program would help new teachers gain experience in the field and address the problem of hiring teachers without certification. Twenty percent of teachers enter the profession without certification.
The task force also recommended that teachers be given more time to plan lessons and collaborate with other teachers, following a system used in more developed countries.
The Teacher Vacancy Task Force was created by Governor Abbot in March 2022, and they hope this report would help solve the vacancy problem of education in Texas.