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Question for TX Teachers



TX. Teachers,
I am new to Texas (Tyler). I have moved from California. I have been fortunate enough to be able to stay home with my children for a couple years. It is time to return to teaching. (I give stay home moms A LOT of credit!) Here is my question:

I have spoken with a few teachers. They have told me there is no union in the state of Texas. Is this true? Or have I been misinformed? Or is it individual districts? How do you feel about this if it is true? Are you happy working in public or private schools? How do you like your health benefits? I am considering returning to work. Just need to do a little homework first. Thank yo for your help.


Senior Member
TX Teaching

I lived in Texas for 4 years until this summer. I worked in private school, so that's a little different, but here's what I know from friends and attending a Texas university:

- I don't think there's a formal union in the sense that people discuss on this board. However, you can join organizations (see tcta.org) that will provide legal help and monitor things that a union normally would. TCTA also provides liability insurance. I never really worried about it, and neither do my friends who teach in Texas.

- I prefer private schools, mostly because I don't want to put up with the behavior issues and standardized test stress.

- Texas public school benefits are good in general, and then each district can add its own things to it. If you work in private school, it's up to each school. Some private schools provide no benefits, while others provide really good ones.


Professional Organizations

Texas is a right to work state.
Teachers do not have unions with collective bargaining power; contracts in general are not negotiated.

There is a state base salary; but many districts pay above [some well above] this base. Actual salaries and benefits are determined by each districts with varying degrees of organization input. On an individual basis, there is sometimes some room for negotiation depending on what you can offer and what the district needs. This isn't the norm though.

There are several professional organizations that represent teachers to our legislature [biggest bunch of morons you'll ever see], provide liability insurance and provide legal service to teachers when needed.

ATPE and TSTA are the biggest organizations, although there are others. TSTA is affiliated with NEA somehow, but I don't really know for sure because I'm an ATPE member.


Senior Member
I am a memeber of ATPE because of their insurance. TSTA is affiliated with NEA.

I work in a public school and have never worked in a private school. I am sure it is like anything, there are good and bady public and private schools. Texas does have a big emphasis on the TAKS test, so that is a huge challenge in the public schools.

I don't think our health benifits are that good. Most districts take the state insurance, which is run by Blue Cross, Blue Shield. I pay $171 a month to carry my baby and me, my hubby is also a teacher and carries himself, at the lowest possible coverage.