The average Texas teacher will earn $62,463 during the 2023-24 school year. This is over $9,000 below the national average, the National Education Association found from an analysis of Texas Education Agency data.

Texas’ full-time school support staff, such as bus drivers, cafeteria workers and secretaries, made $30,382 on average during the 2022-23 school year.

“​​Many of our support workers, who are critical to school safety and success, hardly make livable wages. As we continue to fight vouchers, [the Texas State Teachers Association] will be seeking substantial pay raises for them, as well as for teachers, when the Legislature convenes next year, because we know Texans value their public school educators, and it’s time the Legislature does too,” TSTA President Ovidia Molina said in a news release.

The details

Texas spent around $12,781 per student this school year, according to the NEA. This includes the $6,160 basic allotment, or the base amount of money districts receive per student from the state. Schools use the allotment, which has not increased since 2019, to pay for daily operations, teacher salaries and more.

Per-student spending in Texas dropped 2.5% from the 2022-23 school year, while the national average rose 2.9%, the TSTA reported. Texas spends $5,220 less per child than the national average.

Efforts to adjust teacher pay and school funding languished during the 2023 Texas Legislature as lawmakers sparred over education savings accounts, a voucher-like program that would give families public money to help pay for private schools. The Texas House rejected a voucher plan in November, and public school funding initiatives died with it.

“This is not the House’s fault; it’s not the Senate’s fault,” state Rep. James Talarico, D-Austin, said after the House adjourned in December. “The blame lies at the feet of our governor, who has consistently held school funding hostage to try to pass an unpopular voucher scam that would ultimately defund the schools that he says he's trying to help.”

Private school voucher supporters are “on the threshold of success,” Gov. Greg Abbott said March 20. The Republican governor led the charge to unseat several anti-voucher House Republicans in the March 5 primary election.

The 89th legislative session begins Jan. 14.

By the numbers

Among 50 states and Washington, D.C., Texas ranks:
  • 29th for teacher salaries, with a national average of $71,699
  • 34th for support staff salaries, with a national average of $33,756
  • 46th for per-student funding, with a national average of $18,001
When adjusted for inflation, Texas teachers’ salaries are down 6% from 2015, the TSTA reported.

Zooming in

“Even with a record, $33 billion budget surplus last year, the Legislature failed to add one penny to the basic funding allotment for public schools. ... Now, school districts are cutting programs to fight inflation and balance their budgets, and are finding it harder to attract and retain qualified teachers, while Abbott continues his drive for vouchers,” Molina said in the release.

Austin ISD officials projected a $60 million budget shortfall for fiscal year 2024-25. To reduce the gap, the district is considering cutting staff and asking voters to approve a property tax increase, Community Impact previously reported.

Officials for Eanes ISD, located in West Austin, discussed cutting a middle school Latin course and part-time fine arts director position to minimize a budget shortfall. In the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Grapevine-Colleyville ISD leaders projected a $5.46 million shortfall to round out FY 2023-24.