At TSU rally in Houston, Kamala Harris unveils plan for major teacher pay raise


In a jam-packed recreational center on the campus of Texas Southern University, one of the nation’s premier historically black colleges, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris unveiled her plan to, as she said, make “the largest federal investment in teacher salaries in history.”

Public school teachers are paid $13,000 less than other college graduates. Harris wants to close that gap. 

“We are not paying teachers their value,” the candidate noted to rousing applause at the rally Saturday.

Harris is among the 14 candidates vying for the Democratic nomination for president, and Texas – now a battleground ahead of the 2020 election – appears to be a key state for her campaign.

At the rally, the candidate spoke to the core of voters’ concerns – what she called the “middle-of-the-night thought.” That could be paying off loans, affording health care, or getting a family member off opioid addiction. Americans don’t wake up in the middle of the night, she said, as a Democrat or Republican or as some demographic group but as people with the same kitchen-table worries.

According to a Harris aide, 2,400 people turned out for the rally. Rodney Ellis, a Harris County Commissioner, opened for the Senator by endorsing her for president. Former gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis was also in attendance. 

Earlier Saturday at the iconic Breakfast Klub, Harris met with the black female judges who won historic races last fall in Harris County.

Harris is gaining ground in a recent CNN poll, but polls change like the wind. Still, the Senator is generating energy in the six weeks since she launched her campaign.

A theme throughout Harris’ remarks Saturday was “speaking truth,” drawing a distinction with the dishonesty billowing out of the Trump White House.

Harris also touched on common-sense border security, a pathway to citizenship for immigrants, and gun safety. Parents should not be going online to find bullet proof backpacks for their kids.

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