‘It will help’ | Retired Texas teachers to receive cost-of-living increase in new year

Payments range between two and six percent, depending on when the teacher retired.

SAN ANTONIO — Lydia Carrillo-Valdez didn’t always consider a career in education but a volunteer role in childcare led her down the path to teaching.

After graduation in 1983, she began teaching at the elementary level.

“The kids faces I had that morning, 25 little faces showed up and I was like, ‘Oh, so cute’,” she said.

Carrillo-Valdez retired in December of 2014, but nine years later, she still works full-time. As an organizer with the American Federation of Teachers, she rallied to get Texas Senate Bill 10 passed. Last month, Proposition 9 was passed by voters and goes into effect on January 1.

It’s passage authorized a one-time cost of living adjustment for members of the Texas Teacher Retirement System. Retired teachers haven’t received a COLA since 2013.

“It’s small but it’s finally a breakthrough,” said Carrillo-Valdez.

Monthly payments range between two and six percent, depending on when the teacher retired. Recipients are now being notified by mail of their adjustments.

Due to inflation, Carrillo-Valdez said it’s not enough to quit her day job. However, it’s a start towards a livable wage and hopefully an enjoyable retirement.

“We will continue this fight. Everyone just wants a respectable retirement, and we are not making much with it but we do the best we can,” she said.

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