CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The moments where teachers get to witness firsthand the difference they make in their students’ lives are part of what makes their jobs worth it. That is where ultimate satisfaction comes from, they say.
But as we enter the 2022-’23 school year, positive feelings are overshadowed for many teachers.
“They’re a little insecure, inside, about what they’re going to see in the classroom with regards to the progress of the children,” said American Federation of Teachers - Corpus Christi President Nancy Vera.
The Texas Education Agency's 2022 STAAR summary shows, scores for all Texas students in math, collectively, have improved since last year — though, not enough to bounce back from COVID-19’s impact.
In reading language arts, Texas students are going above-and-beyond pre-pandemic results.
In 2020, the last time the agency published results about Corpus Christi Independent School District, the district had 36,502 enrolled and 2,227.6 teachers who made an average salary of $55,551.
“This is — it’s a problem,” said a CCISD teacher who asked KRIS 6 News to withhold their identity.
Part of the problem is having to pick up the slack because of staff shortages.
To address that, the TEA lauched the Teacher Vacancy Task Force in March. The one-year initiative is made up of teachers and school-district leaders from across the state who meet with agency leadership every other month to discuss how to retain current teachers and attract new ones.
“It's been a long three years, and it seems like, on top of everything, more things are getting thrown on top of us, and it’s a lot,” the CCISD teacher said.
An email sent to all CCISD employees in June lays out part of the budget for this school year, which includes: a $750 salary increase for teachers, librarians, and nurses; an hourly minimum increase to $12.50 for auxiliary employees in custodial, maintenance, and food departments; and up to $12.75 an hour for instructional paraprofessionals.
All CCISD employees will get a $500 “welcome back” stipend, a 2 percent midpoint salary stipend, and a minimum 1 percent midpoint retention stipend.
“I'm not sure the morale’s there,” the teacher said.