AUSTIN, Texas -- In recent years, Texas teachers have rallied at the State Capitol demanding more money for public education.

  • House budget proposes additional $7 billion in school funding
  • Senate proposes $5,000 raise for teachers 

However as state lawmakers look to spend more this legislative session, teachers are a going into 2019 with a bit more optimism.

"I think it’s very encouraging that the budget, as a document, really shows that both chambers are looking to prioritize public education during this particular session," said Monty Exter, a lobbyist with the Association of Texas Professional Educators.

The House budget has proposed spending roughly $7 billion in additional funding on schools over the next two years, but left it up to lawmakers to figure out how best to reform the school finance system and provide property tax relief. The Senate has pitched spending about half of that with a big chunk going to a $5,000 across-the-board raise for teachers.

"Most importantly, it’s funded with state dollars," Exter said. "Lawmakers are not asking districts to simply reallocate funds which they don’t really have to reallocate, which is what happened last session."

Click the video link above to watch our full interview with Exter.