School Is Starting, No Solution For Education Funding - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

08/04/05 - Lufkin

School Is Starting, No Solution For Education Funding

by Jessica Cervantez

It is now just a matter of days until school starts around East Texas. But, the education funding debate, means teachers have more on their minds than just their lesson plans.

As East Texas teachers get their classrooms ready for the school year, state lawmakers are still working on a solution to education funding. Susan Dickens, a veteran teacher, is among those keeping a close eye on the different budget plans being considered.

Dickens said, "They are looking at a package to raise salaries $1,000 this year and next year. Even so, that won't put us near the national average. We're always at the bottom, and that is not good. We will lose good teachers."

Dickens has been teaching for 33-years. She calls the job very rewarding. But, she fears what the future holds for newer teachers like John Carter.

She said, "Our children are getting a raw deal, when teachers are insecure, when salaries aren't the best, it makes people reluctant to go into the teaching field."

Carter says they spend a lot of their own money on school supplies for their classrooms. The students are his top priority. But, he doesn't think the legislature feels the same way.

"My biggest concern is what the legislature is showing our teachers and students how they fall as far as a priority. I think it is going to be really important to get behind the teachers and show that the future of Texas is important, and I don't think they are doing that right now."

Governor Perry says he is considering signing a bill that would pay for textbooks that are already needed in the classroom. The plan would also give a pay raise to teachers.

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