TYLER, Texas — On Tuesday, Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 3, an $11.6 billion school finance bill into law that will help the public school finance system, reduce property taxes and increase teacher pay across Texas.
When the announcement came that more funding would be given across the state of Texas, excitement poured in from both teachers and administrators at Longview Independent School District.
"I think the new funding funneled down from the state is really going to help us and definitely give back to our teachers, counselors, librarians and school nurses," Johnston-McQueen Elementary's Dr. Jennifer Bailey said.
Public schools will receive funding for pre-k, increase money for low-income students and give full-time teachers a pay raise, among other benefits. However, how big that raise will be is still unknown and will likely vary between districts.
"That benefit of getting a raise and hearing that from our legislature and that support is tremendous and definitely something that will raise morale for all teachers," Dr. Bailey said.
Dr. Bailey says this raise will help new teachers not ave to acquire a second job to make ends meet.
"I was excited, it's a need," Johnston-McQueen teacher Mesha Harris said. "Teachers work very hard and the money will be well needed for many teachers across our state. I'm excited our state is stepping up and making this move."
Teachers say it was time they receive recognition since they spend more than just time in their classrooms.
"Teachers are spending their own money," Harris said. "So, finally getting some recognition and this is what that pay raise would be to show how important the state thinks teachers are."
The pay raise will be determined by individual districts.
For more information on HB 3, click here.