SAN MARCOS, Texas -- San Marcos CISD approved next year’s budget, adding employee raises across the board.
The district is spending $2.6 million to make salary increases possible for all district employees.
Trustees approved the following compensation plan for SMCISD employees:
- Increase the starting salary for teachers with zero years of experience to $49,662
- Teachers, nurses, librarians, and counselors with one to five years of experience will receive a pay increase of $1,562, equivalent to a 3 percent pay increase.
- Teachers, nurses, librarians, and counselors with more than six years of experience will receive a pay increase of $2,113, equivalent to a 4 percent pay increase.
- Administrators will receive a pay increase of $2,113, equivalent to an approximate 3 percent pay increase.
- Para-Professional, clerical, and manual trade employees will receive a pay increase of $1 an hour, equivalent to a 6 percent pay increase. The district wide minimum wage is now $13 an hour for this pay scale.
The salary bumps come after Gov. Abbott signed a school finance reform bill into law earlier this month. House Bill 3 provides more funding for Texas public school districts.
Some teachers, like Crockett Elementary's Susan Seaton, said while the pay increase is welcome, it's just the first step in improving the public education system.
"Governor Abbott and Dan Patrick had talked about a $5,000 raise or a $10,000 raise, and that's not what came down. In our district, for a veteran teacher, it'll be $2,113. So, thank you, we appreciate it, but now it's time to get busy on what's next," Seaton said.
Seaton has 13 years under her belt as an educator. The last few months, she'd been fighting for HB-3 to get approved with TSTA.
"I have been integral in talking to my legislators. We've been up to the Capitol multiple times. Emails, phone calls. Right now Texas ranks at the very bottom with teacher salaries and also with educational spending," Seaton said. "Teachers in Texas are about $8,000 below the national average for teaching, and in Central Texas, they are $5,000 to $10,000 below what other metro districts are. This is the first step that the state has taken to help us in this fight."
However, she said finally seeing HB-3 being signed into law and knowing a salary increase is on the horizon is a welcome thought.
"So knowing that the raise is coming and knowing that our district is invested in our employees and making sure that they have everything that they can give them, helps me come to work every day and know that I'm valued and that I'm cared for and that there is hope," Seaton said.
HB-3 mandates that $1.6 billion will go toward teacher raises over the next two years. At SMCISD, brand new teachers will see salaries starting at nearly $50,000 per year.
Seaton said next legislative session, she'll fight for even more reform.
"We need to keep going. We need to look at the health insurance and we need to keep looking at public education funding because districts continue to do more with less money, and it gets hard. We want the best for our kids and I know the legislators do too," Seaton said.
Other districts in the area saw pay increases approved with a finalized budget.
The Hays CISD school board passed pay increases as well:
- Teachers, librarians and counselors will see a 4.35 percent increase
- Auxiliary staff will see a 4 percent increase
- Administrators and all other employees will see a 3 percent increase
Lockhart ISD's pay increase breakdown:
- Teachers with five years or fewer experience will see a $2,300 increase
- Teachers with more than six years of experience will see a $3,000 increase, and more for those with between 11 and 23 years of experience
- Campus principals, assistant principals, athletic trainers, PT/Adaptive physical education teachers, special education assessment staff and speech language pathologists will see a $3,000 increase