AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas school districts will have to pay 100
million dollars in teacher benefits as a result of a two-year-old
state-mandated pay raise.
That's the ruling of state Attorney General Greg Abbott. The
Republican's opinion ends a battle between the state and school
districts over who's obligated for the required contributions to
the teacher pension fund. That's based on the $2,500 pay raise
teachers, librarians and counselors received in the 2006-07 school
Abbott handed down his ruling Thursday. It means that school
districts have to pay 6.58 percent of each teacher's pay hike
because of the state-mandated raise, or about 100 million dollars a
Houston lawyer David Thompson represents dozens of school
districts. He said yesterday that the attorney general's opinion is
erroneous and was biased toward a result favorable to the state.
Currently, the state contributes 6.58 percent of each teacher's
salary to the retirement system. But the percentage is based on the
minimum salary for all teachers, which is $27,320.