HB 3 FAQ: Supports Teachers and Rewards Teacher Excellence
Budget Planning for Teacher Compensation:
- How do I calculate the teacher pay raise? Specifically, what dollar value needs to be set aside for the raises?
- House Bill 3 requires 30% of the total funding increase from the 2018-19 school year to the 2019-20 school year to be set aside for compensation increases. This requires determining proper amounts for both. Methodology to determine this has been outlined in a To the Administrator Addressed Letter on 6/11/2019, which you can find here.
- Does a "district's funding under this chapter per student in average daily attendance for the current school year" include House Bill 21 hardship grant amounts
- Yes. The statute references funding provided under the new chapter 48 (which incorporated elements from the prior chapters 41 & 42) The hardship grants are included in those section of law, and so should be taken into account.
- When will the compensation increases by effective?
- The compensation increases should begin with the 2019-20 school year.
- Charters – Are charter schools exempt from the 30% compensation requirement?
- No, districts and charter schools are required to comply with Section 48.051 (c).
- We have heard news reports that indicate the “average compensation increase is over $4,000 for veteran teachers”? What calculations were used to get to this average?
- New district revenues under House Bill 3 dedicated for compensation increases, coupled with state expenditures under Senate Bill 12, and additional state TRS contributions for the minimum salary schedule, were aggregated statewide and divided by the number of projected veteran teachers retained in FY2020. While this value holds true for the state, different districts may see different local values. In addition, there are other sources of funds.
- What is the definition of a classroom teacher under HB 3?
- HB 3 requires compensation increases for “classroom teachers,” Section 5.001(2) of the Texas Education Code provides the definition of a classroom teacher which states: “ ‘Classroom teacher’ means an educator who is employed by a school district and who, not less than an average of four hours each day, teaches in an academic instructional setting or a career and technology instructional setting. The term does not include a teacher's aide or a full-time administrator.”
- Can the new funding for teacher pay increases under HB 3 be used to create new teaching positions?
- No. While hiring additional teaching staff would result in additional expenditures, only spending associated with compensation rate increases counts toward the 30 percent requirement.
- What does “preference for experienced teachers” mean? Can each LEA define this locally?
- Section 48.051 (c) states: “… prioritizing differentiated compensation for classroom teachers with more than five years of experience.” Each LEA remains responsible for making compensation decisions locally. However, House Bill 3 establishes an expectation that compensation increases given to experienced teachers would be higher than other compensation changes planned for the new school year, and equal compensation increases to all educators would seem inconsistent with this statutory language.
- Will there be a salary increase for classroom teachers, full-time librarians, full-time school nurses, and full-time certified school counselors with less than 5 years?
- LEAs should refer to Section 48.051 (c) to determine how they should distribute the minimum required compensation increases. 48.051 (c) does not specifically prohibit compensation increases for those eligible with less than 5 years – merely that prioritization should be given for those with more than 5 years. Similarly, note the statute requires 75% of the 30% of funding increases be spent on these four types of employees. But the remaining 25% of the 30% can be spent on any employee types (excluding administrators), which also could include educators of any experience level.
- What should the LEA do in year one to calculate the 30% since they will not know their total revenue gain until later in the fiscal year.
- Districts can use their own internal estimates, or they can use the TEA summary of finances and recapture reports for 2018-19 school year, and they can use the TEA state funding template (scheduled to be released July 1, 2019) to project revenues for the 2019-20 school year. In addition, districts could include language in employee contracts that would allow for additional compensation increases pending the availability of newer estimates.
- Is the baseline for comparing new law for 2019-2020 done so against old law 2019-2020 or old law 2018-2019?
- Old law 2018-19
- Is there a new Minimum Salary Schedule as a result of House Bill 3?
- Yes, the new Minimum Salary Schedule can be found in a To The Administrator Addressed Letter on 6/11/2019, which you can find here.
- Can the 30% of the BA increase be used to cover the new Minimum Salary Schedules increases?
- Yes, the 30% of the BA increase can be used to cover Minimum Salary Schedule increases.
- Who is eligible for the compensation increases under House Bill 3?
- Statute requires that 75% of the 30% funding increases be spent on classroom teachers, full-time librarians, full-time school counselors certified under Subchapter B, Chapter 21, and full-time school nurses, prioritizing differentiated compensation for classroom teachers with more than five years of experience. Furthermore, the remaining 25% of the 30% can be spent on any employee types (excluding administrators), which also could include educators of any experience level
- What provisions regarding compensation does House Bill 3 require of charters schools? (e.g. Minimum Salary Schedule? 30% compensation increases? TRS employer share?)
- Charter schools are not subject to the provisions of the Minimum Salary Schedule under TEC 21.402 and are not required to increase salaries to meet the requirements of TEC 21.402; however, amendments to the Government Code, 825.405(a), (b), (e), and (f) require charter schools to pay the state's TRS contribution on the portion of a member's salary that exceeds the statutory minimum as if the member was employed by a school district subject to that section instead of being employed by an open-enrollment charter school. Charter schools are still subject to the 30% funding increase calculation in TEC 48.051(c).
When do the new salary rates reflective of the Minimum Salary Schedule take effect?
The Minimum Salary Schedules (MSS) are effective for the 2019-2020 school year. The first paycheck for impacted employees that reflects days worked under their new contract should reflect the increased rates of pay.
When do district payments for TRS need to reflect the new minimum salary schedule and CEI changes?
The new Minimum Salary Schedule (MSS) takes effect for the 2019-20 school year. Districts should confirm directly with TRS. To illustrate an example for the upcoming school year, most MSS employees are on contract from July (2019) through June (2020) but their 2019 summer paychecks typically are from the previous year’s contract. The first check for days worked in August 2019 (typically the first business day in September or atypically the last business day in August) should reflect the MSS employees’ new rate of pay, and the accompanying TRS payment obligations incurred by districts would reflect TRS rate changes from the new law (the higher MSS, elimination of the CEI, and the higher TRS payment rates).
Can my district utilize “one-time” stipends to avoid a recurring payroll obligation and still meet the 30 Percent requirement?
This provision was intended to provide permanent increases in teacher pay. Also, for chapter 21 positions, pay may not be characterized as supplemental for duty that isn’t supplemental solely in order to avoid the statutory requirements to maintain rates of pay across a contract term. Consult with your district’s attorney whether decisions comply with House Bill 3 and with the prohibition on providing gifts of public funds for contracted employees.
See Alaniz v. Donna Independent School District, Docket No. 029-R10-02-2018 (Comm’r Educ. 2018)
If our district has already adopted a particular salary schedule and plan to comply with the 30 percent requirement, can we amend it?
Consult with your local attorneys for particular situations. In general, districts operating under Chapter 21 contracts can increase teacher compensation schedules as long as the contract start date has not yet been reached and may not decrease once the teacher may no longer unilaterally resign from the contract. Other situations allow changes after the start date of the contract pending the specifics of district contract language and the nature of the compensation changes. Please note the prohibition on providing gifts of public funds.
See Tex. Atty. Gen. Opin. MW-68.
See Alaniz v. Donna Independent School District, Docket No. 029-R10-02-2018 (Comm’r Educ. 2018)
Do districts have to increase salaries up to the minimum salary schedule if ___?
Yes, unless exempted from MSS via a DOI plan. House Bill 3 did not change or relax district requirement to comply with the MSS.
Can my district utilize across the board pay raises and still meet the 30% requirement?
The legislation specifically uses the phrase “prioritizing differentiated compensation…” for experienced teachers. House Bill 3 establishes an expectation that compensation increases given to experienced teachers would be higher than other compensation changes planned for the new school year, and equal compensation increases to all educators would seem inconsistent with this statutory language.
Will there be settle-up on compensation increases provided under the 30?
Similar to other spending requirements, the statute does not differentiate between allocating funds for compensation increases based on budgeted vs actual amounts. Consult with your district’s attorney whether decisions comply with House Bill 3. Please note the prohibition on providing gifts of public funds.
- Are newly hired teachers to a district required to receive the pay increases under HB 3?
- HB 3 does not require increases for new teachers to the district. Due to the flexibility provided under HB 3, a teacher who previously taught elsewhere will have to consult with their new district to determine whether the position that a teacher fills received a compensation increase as part of district’s implementation of HB 3 pay increases.
- If a district can amend their District of Innovation plan to be exempt from the MSS, can they also amend it to be exempt from the pay increases under HB 3?
- No. According 19 TAC §102.1309 districts of innovation may not exempt themselves from the requirements of the school finance provisions.
Master Teacher Certification:
- What does the passage of HB 3 mean for my current Master Teacher Certification?
- Effective September 1, 2019, as mandated by House Bill 3 (HB 3), the State Board for Educator Certification may no longer issue new or renew master teacher certificates.
- Master teacher certificates already issued will be updated to include the word “legacy” as part of the certificate title on your virtual certificate.
- Master teacher certificates already issued will not be eligible to renew at the end of their expiration date.
- Current master teacher certificate holders will be eligible for placement into appropriate teaching assignments as identified in 19 TAC Chapter 231, Requirements for Public School Personnel Assignments, through the validity period of their certificates.
- Once the master teacher certificate has expired, it will not be eligible for renewal and the educator that previously taught using that master teacher certificate would need to hold another certificate appropriate for placement in the assignment to continue in his or her current role.
- I’m in the process of pursuing a Master Teacher Certificate, can I still receive that certificate?
Texas educator preparation programs (EPPs) currently approved to offer master teacher certification in any of the four areas (Reading, Mathematics, Technology, and Science) must complete all certification-related activities by August 30, 2019.
Candidates currently enrolled in a Texas-approved master teacher preparation program must complete all requirements for certificate issuance (including passing the test and submitting a complete application for certification with EPP recommendation) by August 30, 2019.
Master Teacher examinations must be taken and passed, and results must be reported to the educator, the EPP, and TEA in time to meet the before 9/1/2019 deadline for certificate application and issuance.
The following testing windows are the only ones that will enable candidates to meet the deadlines above.
Master Reading Teacher (085), Master Mathematics Teacher (087, 088, and 089), Master Science Teacher (090, 091, and 092) Testing Period Scheduling Deadline Test Results Released 7/15/2019 – 7/28/2019 7/13/2019 8/23/2019 7/29/2019 – 8/11/2019 7/27/2019 8/23/2019
Master Teacher certificates must be recommended for issuance no later than 8/30/2019 and issued by 8/31/2019. The candidate must meet all requirements for the certificate, including:
Master Technology Teacher (086) Testing Period Scheduling Deadline Test Results Released 7/15/2019 – 7/28/2019 6/28/2019 8/23/2019 7/29/2019 – 8/11/2019 7/12/2019 8/23/2019
1) Passed the test
2) Correctly applied and paid for the Master Teacher certificate and completed fingerprinting, if required
3) Be recommended by the EPP for a standard Master Teacher certificate
Teacher Incentive Allotment:
- Has a timeline been established for the implementation of the Teacher Incentive Allotment?
- A To the Administrator Addressed letter was sent out October 3rd regarding the Teacher Incentive Allotment addressing many of these details. However, TEA is committed to a plan that ensures those districts who are eligible, approved and already provide related compensation to teachers in 2019-2020 will receive funding for 2019-2020.
- How are rural schools defined?
- The Teacher Incentive Allotment defines rural in two ways:
- A campus located in an area not designated as an urbanized area or urban cluster by the US Census Bureau and in a district with fewer than 5,000 enrolled students, OR
- A campus designated as rural under rules adopted by the commissioner.
- TEA has created a preliminary list of districts that could qualify as rural for the Teacher Incentive Allotment. You can download that excel file here: https://tea.texas.gov/Reports_and_Data/School_District_Data/District_Ty…
- Once rules are adopted, TEA will finalize and post an official list of campuses qualifying as rural at the website listed above.
- The Teacher Incentive Allotment defines rural in two ways:
- Are only certified teachers eligible to earn a designation?
- Yes, only certified teachers are eligible to earn a designation. This would include intern, probationary, and standard certificates.
- Is there a state cap on how many teachers can earn a designation?
- No. TEA is in the process of developing performance standards for each designation level. It is possible, over time, for all teachers to earn a designation through their local designation system given their ability to meet the statewide performance standards.
- Is a teacher's designation tied to a particular grade level or content area?
- No, the Master, Exemplary, and Recognized designations are not tied to a particular grade level or content area. Designations apply to the teacher, not the teaching assignment, so a teacher could earn a designation while teaching out-of-field. For example, if a teacher earns a designation while teaching 9th grade English I and then moves to teach 11th grade US History, that teacher's designation is still valid for the new assignment.
- Will charters be able to participate in the Teacher Incentive Allotment?
- Yes, charters will be able to participate in the Teacher Incentive Allotment. The same requirements apply to both districts and open-enrollment charter schools. The term “district” has been used throughout this presentation, which is meant to include charters.
- Will our district be able to apply in School Year 19-20 and, if so, what must we do?
- To be eligible to apply for Teacher Incentive Allotment funds in the 2019-2020 school year, districts must pay teachers in the 2019-2020 school year based on their performance during the 2018-2019 school year. If you have not yet been in contact with the TEA’s Teacher Incentive Allotment staff about your intentions to apply in the 2019-2020 school year, please contact us at TIA@tea.Texas.gov.
Do Not Hire Registry:
- Where should schools send reports of misconduct?
- The law now requires some reports of misconduct to be submitted to the Commissioner and others to be reported to the SBEC. To simplify the reporting process, schools should send all reports to the TEA Division of Educator Investigations. Reports can be sent by mail, fax, or through the Internet portal. The division’s contact information can be found on the TEA website. Please do not submit reports through email. Once launched in early 2020, the internet reporting portal will serve as the most confidential and expedient method for sending reports. Additionally, the portal will create a digital record to prove that a school sent the information.
- Will the public be able to see who is on the Registry?
- TEA will create a webpage where members of the public can search the Registry by name. However, privacy laws prevent the agency from publishing SSNs or DOBs accessible by the public. Therefore, members of the public will only be able to see the name and status (“under investigation” or “ineligible for hire”) of any individual on the Registry. Public schools and private schools, who are given access to the confidential portal, will be able to view personal identifiers to confirm an individual’s identity. These schools will also be able to upload and search names in bulk.