Texas governor announces $1.6B deal for teacher raises

Seated at table from left, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, Governor Greg Abbott, and Speaker of the House Dennis Bonnen, are joined with other law makers for a joint press conference to discuss teacher pay and school finance at the Texas Governor's Mansion in Austin, Texas, Thursday, May 23, 2019, in Austin. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

By CLARICE SILBER and PAUL J. WEBER Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says $1.6 billion in teacher raises are coming in a deal driven by classroom unrest and Republicans who sharply changed course on public education ahead of 2020.

The announcement Thursday would make Texas the latest state — and now the largest — to pour more money into schools in wake of teacher revolts across the U.S. and years of cost-cutting.

Teacher never went on strike in Texas. But Republicans who absorbed heavy losses in the 2018 elections returned to the Capitol newly committed to a public school system that was declared barely constitutional just three years ago.

Lawmakers said the raises amount to roughly $4,000 for experienced teachers. Teacher unions met the news with caution, saying they needed to see details.
Texas’ legislative session ends Monday.

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