Waco, TX (FOX 44)- On Tuesday night — Texas voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment that gives retired teachers a pay raise. ‘Proposition 9’ will inject $3.3 billion dollars into the “Teacher Retirement System of Texas.”
Many retired Texas teachers haven’t had a pension payment increase since 2004. Tuesday’s general election changed that, with Proposition 9 sailing to approval with 84% support and receiving 2.14 million votes in favor according to the unofficial election results.
Just like most teachers, Beth Calvert didn’t join the profession for the money.
“I knew what the pay was going to be like,” Beth says.
The real reward for her hard work— was making a difference in students’ lives.
“The interaction with the students. This was the best reason for me to go into education,” says the retired teacher.
Beth knows the duties of a teacher far exceed what’s written in the job description. She says she was an educator–but also a mentor and friend.
“I let them use my car to take their driver’s license test. I’ve taken them to bigger towns so they could get their ears pierced,” she says.
Although, in order to meet her and her family’s needs, she worked two jobs on the side.
“I worked at a service station at night to put our daughter through college, or I wouldn’t have been able to have done that,” she says.
Even after retiring in 2000, she soon returned to the work force.
“I did go to work 13 years later for the department of public safety and worked five years,” says Beth.
Just like thousands of retired teachers–she has been patiently waiting for her first cost-of-living adjustment in decades.
“Nobody’s had them in ten years. Many of them not for 20, and a great number of them… never,” says Bob Hurndon, director of Stilwell Retirement Residence.
For years, retirees have been struggling with decisions about whether they can afford to buy the medicine they need, pay for food or cover housing costs. Now–Beth Calvert is a part of the 60% of retired teachers living at Stilwell Retirement Residence who can now breathe a sigh of relief thanks to the passage of Proposition 9.
Bob Hurndon says, with proposition 9, this is the first time in 38 years of business that the facility has openly endorsed anything, and they are proud to do so.