HOUSTON -

A teacher shortage could be looming in the Houston Independent School District if the district implements proposed changes to the way teachers are paid, according to results of a new survey.

The Houston Federation of Teachers on Thursday released the results of a survey completed by more than 2,000 teachers.

HFT leaders say the current teacher compensation system is based on experience and education, but the district is proposing a plan to rely more heavily on student test scores to judge the effectiveness of its teachers.

"If the district pushes this through, it's very likely they will trigger their own teacher shortage, the likes of which have not been seen in Houston since the late sixties," said Gayle Fallon, president of the union.

"It's no secret that we are looking at how we can increase our teacher pay and find the best way to get the best teachers," said HISD spokeswoman Sheleah Reed,.

Reed says school officials will begin budget talks later this month and vote on a final budget in June.

When it comes to compensating teachers for their hard work, Fallon says HISD is falling behind suburban school districts.

Fallon points to a recent decision by Alief ISD to raise the starting salary for beginning teachers to $50,000 and give every current teacher a $2,850 raise.

"I've had one teacher tell me, why should I drive further and work for a district that pays me worse and evaluates me and pays me unfairly," said Fallon.

Fallon says the teachers union will deliver the teacher's concerns and survey results to the school board Thursday night.