Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick proposes increased teachers' retirement funds and bonuses

Days ahead of a Texas "Special Session", Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick is proposing bonuses of up to a thousand dollars for Texas teachers.

BEAUMONT - Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick is proposing bonuses of up to a thousand dollars for Texas teachers days ahead of a special state legislative session.

Patrick is proposing $700 million to be allocated to teachers and school districts from out of the lottery system.

Joe Evans has three daughters attending Odom Academy, and gets involved with their education.

He believes teachers are dedicated to their craft, and that a pay raise is long overdue.

"I don't want to take away from the job they're doing but anytime you can incentivize your staff, it always gives them a boost in morale, which translates into them doing good work and in this case the good work is the work they do for our kids and for our future," Evans said.

In the future, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick hopes that teachers' retirement and bonuses can increase.

"We spend an astonishing 60 billion in Texas, but look at what the teachers get, less than 32 percent," Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick said in a video he posted outlining his plan.
Patrick also proposed the plan today in Austin.

Patrick would take $700 million from the current allocated Texas Lottery funds, put $200 million towards the Teacher Retirement System, $150 million to smaller school districts, and send $60 million for new up-and-coming school districts.

Between $600 and $1,000 bonuses could be awarded to long-term and retired teachers, according to Patrick’s plan.

Noel Candelaria, the president of the Texas State Teachers Association voiced his thoughts on the plan in a statement.

“Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s sudden, newfound interest in teachers and retired teachers is as hollow as the governor’s $1,000 teacher pay raise because neither is willing to make a genuine commitment to investing state funds in public education,” Candelaria said.

Beaumont ISD’s stance is they will wait to see if the state takes action. In a statement, Beaumont ISD says they are still hiring teachers.

Their pay scale ranges from $45,000 to $65,000.

Evans thinks Beaumont ISD teachers are working hard. He thinks if the proposal is approved, teachers could remain in their profession a long time.

He hopes that the Legislature discusses the issue in the upcoming session.

"It should be something that both chambers can get behind, and it sounds like a bipartisan issue to me so I feel everyone wins on this one," Evans said.

The executive session begins July 18.

© 2017 KBMT-TV


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