A Texas state lawmaker introduced a bill setting the minimum salary for teachers at $70,000 per year, saying “instead of just calling teachers heroes, lets pay them like heroes.”

State Rep. James Talarico (D) filed HB 3580 on Thursday, according to a local ABC affiliate. The bill would also adjust salary for inflation and increase it over time.

Talarico explained in a Twitter thread that he struggled to make ends meet as a public school teacher, and that his coworkers drove Ubers at night and sold plasma for extra money.

He praised teachers, saying they held our communities together through the coronavirus pandemic and the winter storm last month.

Our teachers have endured a global pandemic, an economic collapse, and a deadly winter storm. They held our communities together through these historic crises, Talarico wrote. Teachers had our backs. Now we must have theirs.

Our teachers have endured a global pandemic, an economic collapse, and a deadly winter storm.

They held our communities together through these historic crises.

Teachers had our backs. Now we must have theirs.

James Talarico (@jamestalarico) March 11, 2021

Why focus on teachers? Teachers are THE most important profession. Without them, there would be no other profession, he tweeted.

Why focus on teachers?

Teachers are THE most important profession. Without them, there would be no other profession.

Instead of just calling teachers heroes, lets pay them like heroes.

James Talarico (@jamestalarico) March 11, 2021

According to a report from the Texas Education Agency, the average base salary for teachers was $57,091 for the 2019-2020 school year.

The most recent data from the Department of Educations National Center for Education Statistics indicates that the average public school teacher made $61,730 per year during the 2018-2019 school year.