A teacher friend of mine in Austin, a gifted physics teacher I might add, is distressed over hearing the news that HB 400, a bill introduced by Eissler in the current legislative session, will strip her of some of her salary next year.
, they have yet to be given their contracts to sign for next year, and her colleagues, she tells me, suspect that it is because the administration is waiting for news of the bill’s passage so they can offer them lower pay next year. Austin
Current state law dictates that a public school teacher cannot be paid less than they were paid in the previous year. HB 400 "fixes" that, allowing school districts to pay its teachers less. Ostensibly this is to reduce the number of teachers they will have to lay off to stay within their budgets.
But my friend, and her colleagues, can rest easy, for a year at least. Here is what Section 31 of HB 400 says:
“SECTION 31 (a) Except as provided by Subsection (b) of this section, this Act applies beginning with the 2011-2012 school year.
(b) if this Act takes effect on or before
April 10, 2011, the change in law made by Sections 21.103 and 21.206, Education Code, as amended by this Act, applies beginning with contracts for the 2011-2012 school year. If this Act takes effect after April 10, 2011, the change in law made by Sections 21.103 and 21.206, Education Code, as amended by this Act, applies beginning with contracts for the 2012-2013 school year.”
It is now past April 10th. The bill has only just been voted out of committee. It doesn’t apply next year.
And really, I have to wonder if it will stand a constitutional challenge. Teachers are being singled out as public sector employees for pay reduction. Administrators? Not so much. Or police. Or firemen. Or anyone else. My question is, doesn’t this bill, if enacted, violate the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment?
These legislators keep missing the point. Spending cuts must come hand in hand with an increase in state revenues.