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Friday, January 15, 2021

Patrick plan would tap lottery revenue for teacher bonuses

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick wants to spend $700 million annually in Texas lottery revenue on bonuses for veteran teachers.

The leader of the Texas Senate said Thursday that the lottery raises about $1 billion yearly for education. A proposed amendment to the Texas Constitution that he’ll support during the upcoming special legislative session would force school districts to use most of that on pay bumps for teachers with at least six years of experience and retirees with 20 or more years’ experience.

Gov. Greg Abbott wants to increase teacher pay by $1,000 annually during the special session, but there’s no extra state budget funding.

Patrick also dismissed as a “Ponzi scheme” a stalled plan seeking $1.6 billion extra for schools championed by fellow Republican and Texas House Speaker Joe Straus.

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