State Rep. James Talarico, D-Round Rock, filed a bill Thursday mandating a minimum salary of $70,000 for every teacher in Texas, according to one of his tweets.
He said it would account for an inflation adjustment and increase.
It's an issue that appears to be close to Talarico. He wrote that he was a public school teacher, who "struggled to make ends meet. My coworkers drove Ubers at night and sold their blood plasma for extra money."
When I was a public school teacher, I struggled to make ends meet.— James Talarico (@jamestalarico) March 11, 2021
My coworkers drove Ubers at night and sold their blood plasma for extra money.
Today I filed a bill mandating a minimum salary of $70,000 for every teacher in Texas. #txlege pic.twitter.com/Kk8NuxxVNI
Talarico added that, according to the Texas State Teachers Association, 40% of teachers work another job during the school year.
He continued in a Twitter thread, explaining more about the proposed legislation.
"Last session, my colleagues and I passed House Bill 3, which gave almost every Texas teacher a long overdue raise. Unfortunately it was only a $3k bump on average. This bill, HB 3580, can finish the job," Talarico said.
According to the Texas American Federation of Teachers, a union, 94% of teachers spend their own money on classroom supplies, and on average, that adds up to $497 annually.
The Texas Education Agency posts a minimum salary schedule for classroom teachers and full-time librarians, counselors and registered nurses.
A school district cannot pay less than the state base salary listed for that individual's years of experience.
Here is the 2020-2021 Minimum Salary Schedule:
On Twitter, Talarico also addressed why he has $70,000 as the starting figure.
"Research indicates a $70,000 - $75,000 salary is the baseline income needed for emotional well-being," he wrote, proposing that the state government could fund the raise with "a combination of federal funds, new revenue, and cutting wasteful spending."
"Teachers had our backs. Now we must have theirs," Talarico said.