Texas teachers have maneuvered through pandemic restrictions, school safety protocols, growing budget constraints, and additional state mandates, all while making sure our students receive a quality education. Even after helping Texas students recover from COVID-related learning disruptions, teachers are struggling to make ends meet and find fulfillment in their work. According to the 2022 Charles Butt Foundation Texas Teacher Poll, 41% of teachers work additional jobs out of financial need outside of their school, in most cases, during the school year. Additionally, more than 80% of teachers see insufficient planning time, non-instructional responsibilities, and high-stakes testing as obstacles to their effectiveness.
Lawmakers must not take for granted the contributions our teachers have made. This year alone, 77% of Texas teachers seriously considered leaving the classroom, citing excessive workload, insufficient pay, and disrespect for the profession as major factors in that decision. Many school districts will continue to face teacher shortages unless the legislature acts now. The first steps in ensuring our teachers feel adequately supported and welcomed in Texas public schools are to improve teacher compensation and working conditions. Teachers show up for Texas during its toughest hours; it’s time for Texas to show up for our teachers.