Funding Frustrations Lubbock TEACHERS Face Compensation Increase Amid FINANCIAL Strain

Funding Frustrations: Lubbock TEACHERS Face Compensation Increase Amid FINANCIAL Strain”

Lubbock, TX- On Thursday, the Lubbock Independent School Board authorized a 2% average compensation increase for its teachers. However, it comes with a cost. Overall, they are looking at an 8.9 million dollar budget shortfall, but they are still searching for methods to reduce it.

This is a common problem in many Texas school districts, even though Texas Representative Carl Tepper claimed state lawmakers provided $8 billion in financing during the previous regular legislative session. This money comes from a record budget surplus during the previous normal legislative session. Still, some in the educational system believe it is insufficient.

“I left teaching in 2022 because I saw the writing on the wall,” Morgan Kirkpatrick, a Lubbock teacher of twelve years, stated. Kirkpatrick is currently trying something new. “I became angry. “That was one of the reasons I ran for State Board of Education,” Kirkpatrick stated.

Kirkpatrick’s frustration stems from a lack of public school financing from the Texas legislature, as well as a lack of instructor salary.

“It’s criminal how little some school workers are paid,” Kirkpatrick remarked.

According to Clinton Gill of the Texas State Teachers Association, low pay and a lack of public school funding are widespread issues in Texas.

“We’re seeing teachers all across the state leave the profession because there’s no money to provide them with an adequate salary,” Gill stated.

Texas state representative Carl Tepper stated that several districts in Texas are experiencing shortages because they spent COVID-19 relief funds without considering future budgets.

“Those folks were caught flat-footed, and the blame does not fall on the legislature for that it falls on those school districts that were irresponsible with their funding,” Representative Tepper stated.

He also stated that the Texas legislature allocated $8 billion to public schools during the last regular session.

“The state has put an insurmountable amount of money into the public school systems,” Representative Tepper stated. According to Representative Tepper, Lubbock’s financial shortfalls are not as big as those in other Texas communities. He plans to work with Lubbock schools to assist them understand where the deficit is coming from.

Gill and Kirkpatrick, on the other hand, are hopeful that the legislature will reconvene in Austin to solve the funding shortfalls as quickly as feasible.

“We call upon Governor Abbott, our representatives and centers here in Lubbock to put the money where their mouths are and provide for your public schools because they’re in desperate need of it,” Gill stated.

It is unclear whether Governor Greg Abbott will call lawmakers back to Austin for a special session to discuss public school funding soon. Representative Tepper stated that they intend to bring it up again during the next regular session.

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