The Royse City Independent School District Board of Trustees will consider approving compensation proposals Monday night that call for increases of $1,100 for all teachers, $1,000 for beginning teachers and stipends for teachers in “high-needs areas.”
Superintendent Kevin Worthy wants the school board to act on 2017-18 school-year proposals as soon as possible because it’s teacher-hiring season.
“If we feel like we can accomplish some things tonight and put it on our April 10 board meeting and approve our salary compensation plan, then we can get that out to our teachers, we can get that out to our job fairs, so our teachers can understand it,” Worthy told board members during a special meeting and board workshop on March 27.
“This is the season, the hiring season,” he said. “Teachers can pick and choose where they want to go. It’s important that our teachers know that we’re proposing a 2.3 percent salary increase and those types of things. So, if you feel good about it, we’ll put it on the April 10 agenda.”
Worthy confirmed Monday that the compensation proposals — which also include a 2 percent increase from the grade mid-point for all pay groups other than teachers — will be on the agenda for the regular monthly meeting.
If approved by the board, this would be the fourth consecutive year that teachers have received annual pay raises of at least $1,000.
Prior to the 2014-15 school year, said Chief Financial Officer David Carter, the school district was on a step program that would provide teacher salary increases of about $200 every year.
Beginning with the 2014-15 school year, Carter said, the school district went with a “market based pay plan.”
In 2014-15, teachers got a raise of about $1,150, followed by $1,000 in 2015-16 and $1,100 during the current year. Carter said a $1,100 increase is proposed this year and plans call for the same amount to be requested for 1918-19.
Carter compared the amount of pay raises over the five-year period to what teachers would have received under the step program.
“If you go back and look at our old step schedule, what we want to do in five years would have taken teachers 14 years to get the same amount — $5,450,” Carter said “So, that’s the power of putting that pay increase back into the hands of the board.”
For new teachers, their salary went from $42,000 in 2014-15 to $42,750 in 2015-16 and $43,750 this year.
The proposed salary for the 2017-18 school year is $44.750.
The stipends would apply to teachers in the following “high-needs areas:”
•Mentor teacher campus coordinator, kindergarten through eighth grade, $1,500;
•Mentor teacher campus coordinator, ninth through 12th grade, $2,500;
•High-needs math/computer science, ninth through 12th grade, $2,500;
•High-needs LOTE (Languages Other Than English), seventh through 12th grade, $1,500; and
•High-needs Life Skills/BAU (Behavioral Alternative Unit), kindergarten through 12th grade, $2,000.
The stipends will help Royse City ISD draw closer to the salaries that Rockwall, Forney and Allen schools are paying for teachers in high-needs areas, Carter said.
Worthy said the stipends would help Royse City ISD improve success in hiring and retaining quality teachers.
And for Worthy, he said, “the biggest thing is the retention piece of that.”
Carter also told board members about projects tentatively planned for this summer at Vernon Elementary School, Scott Elementary School and Royse City Middle School.
The Vernon and middle school projects would “recapture” space.
At Vernon, Carter said, pods would be enclosed to “recapture some of that space and turn it into classrooms.” The same would be done at the middle school. The old agriculture shop that is now used for storage would be turned into three or four classrooms.
Carter said the Scott project calls for efficient use of space for student pickup and drop-off.
He said school officials are working with an architect and the city about the construction of a drive around back so parents could drop off students in the current bus lanes and buses could drop off students in the front of the school.
Jim Hardin may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.