Texas State Representative James Talarico believes in education, as evidenced by the fact that its the first issue that comes up when you go to his website:

As a former teacher, I’m deeply committed to ensuring educational equity for our kids and educators. Particularly now, as we confront the economic and public health crisis of COVID19, we will need to protect the commitment we made to our schools and educators for additional funding and support through HB 3, the first major overhaul in our state’s school finance system since before I was in Kindergarten. While HB 3 was a big step towards quality school finance reform, the work is not done. How our state will keep students and educators safe and healthy in the upcoming school year and meet every child’s educational needs are challenges we will need to face in the upcoming session and I’m committed to doing all I can to continue improving our education system for ALL students.

In case you're wondering, House Bill 3 was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbot, and it, "provides more money for Texas classrooms, increases teacher compensation, reduces recapture and cuts local property taxes for Texas taxpayers.", according to the Texas Education Agency.

One of the ways that Talarico wants to continue the fight for better education is by making $70K the minimum for Texas teachers. How will ensuring great pay help? There are dozens of ways, actually.

Knowing that there's a guaranteed $70K will inspire more people to get a higher education and a teaching certificate. Teachers will be more likely to stay long-term: "Talarico says 45% of new teachers leave the classroom in the first five years and better pay can help keep experienced teachers from heading for the door." Personally, I've had several friends and family members who quit in the first 5 years because their pay was not proportionate to the work. Additionally, $70K will attract better talent from other areas as well. Who wouldn't want the best teachers for future Texans?

If you think teachers don't deserve $70K minimum, then you probably had some bad experiences with sub-par or simply burnt-out teachers. At $70K that sub-par teacher is easily replaceable, and the school no longer has to hang on to the mean or the inept educators. Burn-out happens because teaching is a tremendous amount of work with a broad range of skills involved - to teach you not only have to know the subject, but you are also a parent figure to 100 kids, and a social worker to boot. Proper compensation prevents burnout because the teacher will feel more appreciated and respected, and won't have to resort to driving an Uber or whatever to make ends meet.

I love Texas. I love Texans. We say we are bigger and better, let's BE bigger and better and do what's right for our future generations.

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