HISD unveils 2014-2015 budget proposal

Competitive teacher pay district top priority; new magnet formula focused on equity

The HISD Board of Education was presented with a budget proposal for 2014-2015 on Thursday that increases teacher pay and improves equity and increases transparency in how the district’s magnet programs are funded.

The proposal, which needs board approval, is an update to an original plan that was presented in late April. It calls for changes to the magnet program funding formula. Schools would receive per-pupil funding based on their level and theme. Additionally, each school would receive a magnet coordinator regardless of their funding levels and transportation for students. The district’s 15 Vanguard programs would receive $410 per-pupil in addition to the $406 for each gifted and talented student as a result of the weighted student funding formula.

Magnet Program Theme Elementary Schools Middle Schools High Schools
Fine Arts $350 $250 $1100
IB $50 $50 $50
Vanguard $410* $410* $410*
Montessori $350 $350
STEM $100 $125 $125
Languages $100 $50 $50
Early College $50
Futures Academy $1000
Medical Careers Program $200 $1100
Criminal Justice Program $500
Other Career Program $50
All Other Programs $100 $100 $100
*In addition to the proposed $410 per-pupil allocation for students in magnet Vanguard programs, Vanguard students would receive about $406 per student via the G/T weighted student funding formula.    

According to HISD Superintendent Terry Grier a change in the formula is much needed. “Our proposed magnet funding formula is focused on increasing equity across all of our magnet and specialty schools. This change allows us ensure that each magnet and specialty program has the ability to succeed, allowing us to offer more students access to programs that focus on their interests,” Grier said.

If approved, the new funding formula will be phased in over the next two years. During the 2014- 2015 school year, schools that expect a shortfall in their funding will only see 25 percent of the reduction. Likewise, programs receiving an increase in their magnet funding will only see 25 percent of the increase go into effect next school year. The new funding will be fully phased in by the 2015-2016 school year.

Board trustees also received a recommendation to increase pay for entry level teachers from $46,805 to $48,400, to improve HISD’s ability to compete with neighboring districts and attract candidates from other markets. The change creates a new salary schedule and eliminates master’s and doctoral salary adjustments for new hires. The district expects the change will cost about $20 million.

“This budget proposal includes several major priorities for the district,” Chief Financial Officer Ken Huewitt said. “Competitive teacher pay is at the top of the list to ensure that we are able to attract and retain the best teachers for our students.”

The Board of Education will continue to discuss the proposed budget in several upcoming public meetings before adopting a budget on June 19.

11 thoughts on “HISD unveils 2014-2015 budget proposal

  1. Ruth Beery

    If you raise the entry level about $1600.00 then you need to raise all teachers salary by that same amount–a teacher with over 30 years are not making that much more then the new teachers. We always raise the new ones, but what about the older teachers who are loyal and do not leave the district after 3 to 4 years–no babies, no moves, no change of heart, and no better job offers–they are your workhorses who keep your scores up and get you the recognition for great results and achievements around the U.S. Do not forget us!!

  2. Debra Butt

    Well, stated Ms. Beery. I do not teach for the salary, but respect with compensation for knowledge would be a step in the right direction for continued achievements in HISD.

  3. Pablo Soto

    I am so sick of HISD and that is why all the good teachers leave this district. Poor leadership skills and all they care about is $$$.

  4. Fourth Grade Veteran

    What incentive then do we have as educators to go back and obtain advanced degrees if it will not set us apart financially within this district?? Not that the difference in pay was that great to begin with, but I do believe it should be recognized and rewarded through a substantial pay difference. We want to attract and retain the best and brightest, then we should prove it. Obtaining advanced degrees is no small feat. Many of us make sacrifices and incur large amounts of debt in order to do so. We want what is best for our students and to enable them to be competitive in this global economy once they leave our campuses, and that is why we go back to get these advanced degrees. So please consider our motives and agendas when trying to advance and implement those of “the board”.

    Thank you.

  5. andrea weathersby

    What is meant by “no babies”? Eliminating adjustments for master and doctoral degrees for new hires is a BAD BAD idea.

  6. 7 Year Veteran

    Why is it that all other districts surrounding Houston ISD are starting their new teachers off at $50,000 for the 2014-2015 school year but HISD employees have to have 7-10 years experience to receive the same compensation? The district is going to lose a lot of great employees because of this. Also, school’s have been sending out 2014-2015 contracts but there is not an updated salary schedule for next year. This feels like entrapment. Many employees live far away from the school where they are teaching but remain at their school because of the love, commitment and passion that they have for their students. Why keep driving further away from home when you can easily work somewhere closer and get paid a lot more? The district should consider this before they lose a lot of great employees.

  7. Excalibur00

    I’m an HISD product and 9 year HISD teacher. I love working for HISD and it hurts me deeply that other districts are paying so much more than HISD. I find it very disappointing that this budget is considering eliminating compensation for masters and doctoral degrees. Higher pay and appropriate compensation for the work thats put it will attract and retain the best teachers. Another thing that is hard to swallow is that every time theres a small pay increase, the district breaks up the steps so that some people stay in that step longer, essentially nullifying that pay increase. I hope HISD hears our concerns carefullly and reconsiders some of these changes. My humble opinion.

  8. Harry Simpson

    It seems as though HISD goes to great lengths to explain it’s budget except in the area of teacher pay! Where is the schedule??? Are we that unimportant to our fabulous leader????

  9. Teacher CNS

    This is truly sad news….especially because I just completed my Masters Degree and already had it planned in my mind how the “small” increase from having the Masters degree would help me repay my loans. I have taught in the district for 7 years, however I live in Cy-Fair. Cy-Fair just announced they would be starting their teachers off with $50,000. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t do this for the money….I don’t drive one hour away, deal with discipline issues, unconcerned parents and lack of resources for the money, I do it for the love, the love of teaching is in my heart and that’s why I stay! I strongly feel HISD needs to do better, much better! No, I don’t plan on leaving, even though I’m unhappy about the pay. However, I pray the district gets it together. They always find ways to spend money but never on it’s teachers. The pressures on teachers in the classroom are, at times, unbelievable….and yet there are many teachers that hang in there and this is because of the LOVE! They want to have the best teachers but when teachers go to further heir education. HISD say….we are not giving a pay increase for Masters and Doctoral degrees….are you kidding me! Come on HISD you have some of the best teacher ever….do better by us!

  10. Practical Teacher

    I teach for the love of it as well but at the end of the day, I have a family who needs my love as well. And hugs and kisses never put food on the table. So if I can do what I love, do it well with my whole heart, for a district that appreciates my hard work and is willing to show its appreciation BEFORE the test scores come in, I say it is a win-win for everyone. I am willing to bet there are more teachers out there who feel the same way. If HISD doesn’t see the light soon, they are jeopardizing the future of hundreds of thousands of students who depend on amazing teachers to do what they love.

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