Recruitment and retention are factors in Hays CISD’s desire to raise employee salaries by three percent in the upcoming year.
The move is part of the district’s proposed Fiscal Year 2019 budget, which was first discussed April 26.
The proposed increases are being proposed to make the Hays CISD more competitive when compared to other nearby districts. Hays CISD has discussed the possibility of raising employee salaries for the last several years, said Tim Savoy, Hays CISD public information officer.
Five years ago, however, the district was near the bottom when it came to the competitiveness of teacher salaries in the Austin area.
“Within the Austin area there are at least a dozen school districts in easy driving distance, so if you’re a teacher you’re going to look at the best compensation package,” Savoy said. “So every year, we look at compensation, not just to cover the cost of living, but to keep our salaries competitive.”
The employee wage increases would call for just over $5.1 million to be added to the budget. Eighty-five percent of the district’s budget is for personnel and increasing wages, according to district officials.
Annette Folmar, Hays CISD chief financial officer, said for teacher compensation, Superintendent Eric Wright’s goal is to “be at the top of the market for attracting experienced teachers and getting experienced teachers into the classroom.”
As part of the district’s proposal, there is also the possibility of creating a differentiated scale that would increase teacher compensation after 5 years.
Folmar said the district also wants to raise starting pay. She said the district – Hays CISD – has been known “for a long time” as a stepping stone for teachers who train for a few years, then move on to other districts.
“So, by focusing the compensation scale based on five years, the effort would be to lure the ones that already have the experience and keep them in our district with a lot of support and compensation,” Folmar said.
Several different compensation scales for teachers were presented and trustees are still in the early stages of drafting the final budget.
“There’s a lot of flexibility depending on how you want to reward experienced teachers,” Wright said.