TEXAS, USA — Last year, Texas classrooms lost almost 43,000 teachers across the state, setting a new record for retirements and resignations.
Initially, the TEA task force only included two teachers. After backlash, it expanded to 52 members from across the state. Last week, a Dallas teacher chairing the task force said they're addressing the shortage with urgency.
"This is a unique opportunity," Josue Tamarez Torres, a math teacher with Dallas ISD and the task for chair, said. "It's an opportunity to maybe reshape the teacher landscape in Texas."
The group said they understand giving teachers a living wage is important, especially those working in rural, smaller districts.
"When a teacher decides to quit...it matters to me," Torres said. "It matters to all society."
The task force is scheduled to meet again next week. As for when the group's recommendations will come out, lawmakers said it should be sometime in March. The task force said it could be even sooner than that.