If I were to ask you which of the professions was most deserving of a raise, what would your answer be?

For me, teachers would be near or at the top of the list.

It has long boggled my mind that we've not already made it a top priority to increase the pay for our teachers. These are the people to whom we trust our children and teenagers for a huge part of the day.

And please just imagine, for a moment, the extra challenges these professionals face every day. Let's be honest: Our kids aren't always little angels--especially when they become teens.

But they persevere. And teachers can have such a profound effect on their academic and athletic growth. And in some cases, their entire lives. I know they did for me.

One former teacher, now Texas State Representative, clearly agrees. And he's filed a bill to prove it.

Texas State Representative James Talarico hails from Round Rock and was once a teacher in our public school system. Last Thursday, he filed HB 3580. If it were to pass into law, the minimum salary for Texas public school teachers would be $70,000. He also included future adjustments to account for inevitable inflation.

Also on Thursday, Talarico explained his reasoning for doing so on his Twitter page:

"When I was a public school teacher, I struggled to make ends meet. My coworkers drove Ubers at night and sold their blood plasma for extra money. Today I filed a bill mandating a minimum salary of $70,000 for every teacher in Texas." 

I couldn't agree more. 

Despite the "not near as high as it should be" salary our teachers currently receive, I was incredibly fortunate to have some amazing teachers during my school years. Teachers who taught me not only the subject, but how to study, focus, believe in myself, and even engage in my community.

I bet you can think of at least a few, too.

Let me ask you: Don't individuals who potentially have such a profound impact on our lives deserve to paid a salary that allows them to focus on teaching?

Don't they deserve to enjoy their evenings and weekends with their families, too? Without having to pick up side jobs to make ends meet? 

The answer is YES, by the way. Way to go, Talarico.

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