All Houston ISD teachers will receive 2-percent pay raises under the district’s 2012-2013 budget that includes pay increases for all staff without increasing the property tax rate.
The Houston Independent School District Board of Education adopted the budget Thursday on a unanimous vote. Trustees Lawrence Marshall, Harvin Moore, and Manuel Rodriguez Jr. were absent.
In September, all Houston ISD employees will receive pay increases ranging from 1.75 percent to 2.25 percent under the budget approved on Thursday.
HISD’s non-teaching staff last received a pay raise in 2009-2010, and some, but not all, teachers received a raise in 2010-2011. No employees received raises during the 2011-2012 school year. Dr. Grier said the pay increases are necessary to remain competitive with surrounding Houston-area school districts that have already proposed doing so.
All teachers will receive a 2 percent pay raise.
Other employee groups will receive the following salary increases:
- Principals, assistant principals and deans: 2 percent
- School bus operators, hourly food services employees, and salaried departmental employees on the lower end of the pay scale: 2.25 percent
- Substitute teachers and other hourly employees: 2.25 percent
- Professional employees and upper-level administrators: 1.75 percent
Employees with questions about the new salary schedules may submit them via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Addressing state funding cuts
The $1.58 billion budget addresses the loss of $47.1 million in state funding with $8.9 million from the district’s savings account, which currently stands at about $257 million.
The Texas Legislature’s decision to cut public education funding by $5.4 billion statewide cost HISD schools $125.1 million over a two-year period. Because of these cuts, the state now pays 21 percent of HISD’s budget, compared to 26 percent a year ago. The amount of HISD’s revenue that comes from local tax dollars now totals 79 percent.
About $17 million of the shortfall caused by the cut in state funding will be covered by reducing the amount of general fund money that is normally transferred to HISD’s debt service fund to help repay loans at a faster rate than is required. This reduction is a one-time option that will not be available in future years.
HISD has also identified several areas of decreased spending for the upcoming school year. These include:
- $7 million in reduced employee health and unemployment insurance costs.
- $5.5 million less for bilingual and special education programs. This is a result of the declining number of HISD students identified for bilingual and special education services.
- $5 million less in ASPIRE performance awards.
- $2.5 million in non-campus departmental cuts, primarily through departmental consolidations and layoffs. Last year, HISD eliminated 221 non-campus positions.
Although the board will not adopt a property tax rate until later this year, Superintendent Terry Grier intends to recommend that HISD maintain the current tax rate, which is the lowest of any school district in Harris County. Last week, the Board of Education agreed to continue granting an optional 20 percent homestead exemption in addition to the standard $15,000 exemption that homeowners across the state receive.