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Texas democrats and republicans agree on changing pay for retired teachers

Being debated in special session
Posted at 7:48 AM, Jul 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-16 13:35:44-04

AUSTIN, Texas — The special session of the Texas Legislature will continue as lawmakers address controversial bills. One issue Texas Democrats and Republicans say they can agree on is changing pay for retired teachers. Its been over 17 years since Texas educators got what's called a cost of living adjustment or measures put in place to balance inflation.

Now, during this month's special session, lawmakers hope to cut retired teachers a "13th check", which means they'll get an additional payment every year to help make ends meet. This is something experts say is long overdue for our educators.

"The average teacher retirement benefit in Texas is just a little over two-thousand dollars a month. There are about 480,000 retirees, maybe a little more than that. 130,000 of those folks make a thousand dollars a month or less," said the Executive Director of Texas Retired Teachers Association, Tim Lee.

Lee said the pandemic's been especially hard on retired teachers and their fixed incomes. The senate's new push for a 13th check could help ease the burden. Changing retired teachers' pay is one of the 11 items on the agenda lawmakers will discuss during the special session in Austin.