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Teacher compensation plan gets support from Southeast Texas lawmaker

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A plan to give teachers a $1.000 pay raise and increase their retirement benefits through the Texas lottery has the support of local State Rep. James White, who Monday praised Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick for proposing the bill.

White - a Republican representing Hardin, Jasper, Newton, Polk, and Tyler counties in Southeast Texas - says this is a necessary step in the legislature prioritizing school finance and teacher pay as public schools struggle financially and teachers see a drastic change in their retirement benefits.

Patrick's plan, which was announced last Thursday, would provide $600 to $1,000 in bonuses to long term and retired teachers. White says it would also add $200 million to the Teacher Retirement System.

The Southeast Texas lawmaker also says Patrick's proposal would provide $150 million "to struggling small, rural districts, like many of the districts in Southeast Texas and provides $60 million for new facilities for fast-growth school districts and charter schools."

Rep. White said:

“Our Texas public schools are struggling and many of our retired teachers have seen a drastic change in their TRS-Care benefits. The Legislature must prioritize its focus on making sure our schools are properly financed and our teachers are properly taken care of. The lack of action on these reforms has drastically taken a toll not only on our public school system, that should be focused on providing a 21st century education, but our local residents who have seen their property taxes skyrocket, sometimes doubling or tripling. Texans cannot afford this. I applaud Lt. Governor Dan Patrick for taking the necessary steps in proposing a plan legislators can work with and address this crisis."

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