Mark Trachtenberg in San Antonio Express-News: Expert: Texas Teacher Quality, Salaries Lagging


AUSTIN — Texas teacher salaries are not competitive and teaching quality has declined, which threatens student achievement, a Harvard-trained economist testified Tuesday in the trial phase of an ongoing school-funding lawsuit.

Duke University professor Jacob Vigdor contends Texas does not pay its public school teachers enough and believes a decline in the competitive job market for teachers hampers the state's ability to recruit and retain highly affective ones...

Vigdor testified for the Texas School Coalition, one of four groups representing more than 600 school districts in total that have sued the state. The case includes claims that Texas is not spending enough money to meet academic standards and that the funding it does provide is not equitably distributed.

Average Texas teacher salaries have fallen behind those of several other high-growth Sun Belt states, Vigdor said. The average teacher salary in Texas was $47,311 in 2009-10 dollars, well below the national average of $54,965, and lower than 32 other states, according to Vigdor's report.

Mark Trachtenberg, a lawyer for the Texas School Coalition, asked Vigdor to summarize the status of teachers in Texas.

“The situation in Texas has declined over the past several years at a fairly rapid pace,” he answered.

Excerpted from San Antonio Express-News, December 5, 2012. To view full article, click here.


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