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Several Central Texas school districts announce pay increases for teachers

Lockhart ISD approved the largest local increase so far at 8%.

CENTRAL, Texas — In the last few months, at least seven Central Texas school districts have announced raises for teachers. It's a delicate subject that was exacerbated throughout the pandemic as advocates pushed for wage increases.

The raises vary by school district. So far, these are which districts which have approved raises and by how much: 

"The shortage is such a crisis right now that I think it's finally driven a lot of districts to focus now on the need to actually retain the teachers that they get into the classroom and keep them there," said Holly Eaton, Texas Classroom Teachers Association director of professional development and advocacy. 

Eaton said districts across the state are approving much-needed salary bumps.

"Teachers seek appreciation and recognition, and you can do that in a lot of different ways," said Eaton. "You know, certainly by recognizing that their salaries have stagnated for the last 10 years."  

Austin ISD proposed a 2% raise for teachers and $1,000 increase for teacher base pay, but the president of Austin's teachers' union wants them to increase pay by 5% across the board. 

"In addition to that, we'd like to see the minimum wage brought up to $20 an hour, as well as that hourly employees all receive a $6.50 increase, because it's the workers that carried us through the pandemic," said Ken Zarifis, president of Education Austin

Zarifis said he'll meet with AISD administrators Wednesday in the hopes that they will give them the increase they want. School board members are set to approve next school year's budget next month.

For those who have been dealt a better hand, Eaton said she hopes it isn't a one-off.

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