How do teachers benefits compare to the legislatures who decide their compensation?
(Special to NEWS LEGIT) A teacher in Texas who starts working at the age of 22 for state base pay ($28,080) must meet the rule of 80 (age + experience) to retire. Assuming that teacher makes state base pay each year at their experience level will finish at age 51 making state max pay ($45,510). That works out to a retirement income of 5 highest salaries (averaged) X 0.023 X years of experience which works out to $30,355.17.
A Texas legislator must work for 8 years and can receive a pension at the age of 60 or 12 years and receive a pension at the age of 50. A Texas legislator who starts in the legislature (House) at the age of 22 has a pension based on the salary of a state judge ($158,000). If they stay in the legislature until the age of 51 they will receive a pension $105,386. Our legislators work roughly 70 days (140 days every other year).
Teachers work roughly 187-200 days per year. Legislators work about 70-140 days annually.
Teachers are paid to work roughly 187 days each year (contracts are now being reworded to say 10 months, or 200 days, but pay has not increased). They are expected to work for free during the summer by attending professional development and preparing for the next school year. Their average workday during the school year is 12 hours and most devote weekend time to planning and grading.
In addition, most districts arrange to pay teachers for a ten-month contract over 12 months. This creates a common misconception that teachers have paid vacation over the summer. Actually, the teachers are providing an interest-free loan to the districts and are paid back during the summer. Teachers are contractors who work from year to year, contract to contract, but are only able to write off $250 of their business expenses like classroom supplies, tissues and hand sanitizer, and snacks for hungry kids. The average teacher spends $500 and many spend $1000+ on their classroom annually – and as budgets are cut, teachers take up the slack.
This isn’t taking into account the insurance and other benefits and perks of being in the legislature.