EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Texas Senate Democrats were united in support of Senate Bill 9 Thursday April 6, which would have provided a $10,000 pay raise for educators.

However, the amendment was not passed with a 12-19 vote and every Republican Senator voting against it.

The Texas Senate Democratic Caucus opposed Senate Bill 8, which would “send millions of taxpayer dollars to private schools without any of the transparency or accountability measures our public schools must meet,” according to their released statement.

Here’s the Texas Senate Democratic Caucus’ full statement:

With a budget surplus of $32.7 billion, we have a historic opportunity to show our public schools are our top priority by making long-overdue investments in public education. Instead of providing teachers a meaningful pay raise, SB 9 provides a one-time stipend equivalent to approximately $120 a month for most teachers. In addition, SB 8 siphons off more than $500 million per year for private entities – making a future pay raise for educators less feasible.

Senate Bill 9 would provide a $2,000 one-time payment to all teachers. For teachers in districts with 20,000 or fewer students, the bill would provide a one-time payment of $6,000. Making a distinction between teachers based on the size of the district they work in—in essence the geographic area or the community they live in—unnecessarily creates inequity and division. It also ignores the reality that teachers in Texas’ urban areas have higher housing costs. We should all be able to agree that all teachers are worthy of the highest possible pay raise without discriminating on the basis of whether they work in a rural or urban district.

Our public-school teachers are critical to our children’s futures as well as our state. It’s time we treat teachers with respect by paying them a fair and competitive wage rather than prioritizing voucher programs that do little to help the 5.4 million children in Texas public schools.