The Katy ISD school board, during its regular meeting June 23, voted to increase teacher salaries in the district by a range of 3 to 7 percent. In contrast with previous pay raises, this year’s salary bump was targeted largely toward teachers with six to 20 years of experience, district officials said.
“This is not just a straight percentage raise across the board but one that addresses specific increases,” said Todd Schneider, assistant superintendent for human resources.
His staff and other district officials have been working on the new salary schedule since April and made an effort to keep it competitive with other districts in the region, he said.
While other comparable districts increased the starting pay for new teachers—some districts now have starting salaries of $50,000—the Katy ISD plan bolsters the salaries of teachers with six to 20 years experience in the district.
When a teacher reaches year 20, by the new schedule, they receive a 6 percent pay raise. In the past it has been two or three percent, Schneider said.
“That’s where two-thirds of our teachers are,” Schneider said. “We’re saying, if you’ve been with us for five years, and you’ve invested that time in us, at year six we are going to invest more in you.”
Superintendent Alton Frailey said that while starting salaries are important for recruiting, this new strategy will support the bulk of the district’s teaching staff.
“We’re very excited by trying to hit the bulk of our staff with an increase,” Frailey said. “We don’t really have a problem with folks wanting to come here but we don’t want to take advantage of that by not providing adequate compensation.”
Voting on a salary schedule for the coming year, in itself, will help to recruit new teachers.
“There are still teaching positions for the coming year that are not yet filled,” Frailey said. “Having a definitive schedule will help out tremendously, not to mention the budget process as we work into July and August.”
The district raised the minimum pay for many of its auxiliary workers one dollar per hour. There are approximately 350 such employees but not all were working at the minimum, Schneider said.
The board also approved a $2.50 per hour increase for bus drivers, bringing the minimum rate to $16.25 per hour. For most drivers that works out to about $2,200 more per year, he said.
“We analyzed many different options of what we could do to help our recruitment in that area,” Schneider said. “We feel like this is the best move at this point.”
Source: Community Impact News