Texas State Representative and Public Education Committee member James Talarico has proposed legislation to raise the minimum salary of teachers in the Lone Star State.

James Talarico is a former middle school teacher, and on his Twitter page he talks about how hard it is to live on a teacher's wage. He mentions that several of his co-workers would pick up second jobs like driving for Uber or donating plasma to help bring in extra money.

According to Salary.com, the average annual salary for a public school teacher in Texas as of February 2021 is $57,912, but the range typically falls between $50,556 and $66,858 and it also depends on which city you're teaching in.

Talarico says that In Texas, teacher salaries are $5,700 behind the national average. He's aiming to get teachers more money.

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Talarico's bill, HB 3580, would put teachers' minimum salary at $70,000.

Why $70,000? According to one of his Tweets, "Research indicates a $70,000 - $75,000 salary is the baseline income needed for emotional well-being. Just ask @DanPriceSeattle"

I like his thinking, and I do believe that teachers are grossly underpaid for the job they do. In the last year, teachers have also put themselves at risk for COVID-19 and have had to develop virtual learning plans for kids unable to attend in person.

Parents that have had to work with their kids during the pandemic will attest to how difficult is is to teach under the current conditions our educators and students have faced. It takes a special person to be able to do that job.

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