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Sunday, September 25, 2022
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Teachers at DFW Harmony Public Schools to Get Pay Raise


Harmony School of Innovation-Garland | Image by The Katy News

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Teachers at Harmony Public Schools in the Dallas-Fort Worth area will receive a pay raise of up to $2,000 for the 2022–2023 school year.

The executive board for the charter school company approved an increase of $1,500 and an additional $500 for teachers with state certification, bringing teacher salaries up to roughly $58,500 in Harmony’s North Texas district, according to NBC 5.

Harmony Public Schools is a Texas public charter school network consisting of 58 campuses, over 37,000 students, and more than 4,000 employees. Claiming a college acceptance rate of 100%, Harmony schools emphasize STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) skills, project-based learning, and college readiness.

Charter schools generally boast smaller class sizes and non-traditional ways of learning and give parents a choice in their kids’ education if they are dissatisfied with their public school district.

They have more flexibility when it comes to curriculum and can be more responsive and accountable to parents, according to U.S. News.

Proponents of charter schools say that these schools give families who do not want to send their kids to troubled public schools other options.

However, charter schools in Texas have been criticized for not working with disabled children, having a high dropout rate, and allegedly taking taxpayer dollars away from traditional public schools, since state taxpayer dollars follow individual students in the funding of education in Texas.

When students leave traditional public schools to attend charter schools, fewer taxpayer dollars are allocated to that specific public school because they are educating fewer students.

Charter schools cost Texas taxpayers roughly $3.6 billion each year and are funded by the State, not by local property taxes.

As enrollment decreases within a  public school or district, cuts could allegedly be made to academics, programs, and staff, according to the Texas wing of the American Federation of Teachers.

However, the Texas Education Agency reported that the state’s charter schools spent $9,651 in operational expenditures for the 2018-2019 school year. In comparison, Dallas ISD spends $15,475 per student.

Still, a survey of studies on the efficacy of charter schools found empirical support for the “healthy competition hypothesis,” that is, the notion that charter schools competing for resources against public schools can improve education quality across the board.

The same survey also found “almost [no evidence] for the hypothesis that students in district schools are harmed by the growth of charters.”

Harmony’s North Texas District includes Dallas, Fort Worth, Carrollton, Euless, Garland, Grand Prairie, Plano, and Waco schools.    

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