AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has signed into law teacher raises and a sweeping overhaul of how the state pays to educate more than 5 million students in public schools.
Abbott on Tuesday called it a “monumental moment” while signing the bill at an Austin elementary school. It comes near the end of an often rocky decade for Texas schools, which had absorbed steep budget cuts and saw the state’s school finance system declared flawed but constitutional in 2016.
Teacher salaries in Texas are currently about $7,000 below the national average, according to the National Education Association. But lawmakers who worked on the overhaul say veteran educators will see an average pay hike of roughly $4,000.
The revamp also pumps billions of additional dollars into Texas classrooms.