HISD Board of Education approves 2015-2016 budget; raises for teachers, principals, staff

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday adopted a 2015-2016 budget with significant salary increases designed to help the district hire and retain the most effective teachers and principals.

As part of the approved budget, teachers will get a minimum salary increase of 2 percent, with beginning teacher salaries jumping up to $51,500 — almost $5,000 more than they earned just two years ago. Certified bilingual teachers would earn an additional $4,000 annual stipend, more than triple the current stipend.

HISD also is increasing the salaries of middle and high school principals to make them more competitive with surrounding school districts.

The salary increases do not require a tax increase. The property tax rate in HISD will remain at $1.1967.

“Everything we do revolves around having an effective teacher in every classroom and an effective principal on every campus, and this budget reflects that,” HISD Superintendent Terry Grier said. “Our students deserve a strong, stable team of principals and teachers who can help them succeed.”

At the middle school level, salaries for principals of specialty and K-8 schools will increase to $95,000, while salaries for principals of comprehensive schools will rise to $105,000 plus a $10,000 signing and retention bonus.

At the high school level, principals of specialty schools will be brought up to $115,000, principals of comprehensive schools will be brought up to $130,000, and principals of comprehensive high schools that have been deemed hard-to-fill will be brought up to $130,000 plus a $20,000 signing and retention bonus.

All hourly employees will earn a minimum of $10 per hour. Other district employees will receive a 2 percent salary increase.

An additional $1 million has been earmarked for salary increases for HISD Police Department officers, though the plan has not yet been finalized.

The 2015-2016 budget was approved Thursday during the district’s annual budget meeting. It will go into effect for the 2015-2016 school year.