The Belton Independent School District board of trustees on Monday approved a 3 percent salary increase for first-year teachers, to $43,300, and approved $1,500 raises for all other teachers, nurses and librarians.

“We surveyed eight surrounding districts (including Temple, Killeen, Midway and Copperas Cove), and we determined this was consistent with what they were also doing,” said Todd Schiller, director of human resources for Belton ISD.

The district has 650 teachers. The raises will cost the district about $1.9 million, Schiller said.

Employees said salaries for other staff positions were examined, including custodians, food service and groundskeepers, and a recommendation was made to raise minimum salaries to $8 an hour. Other positions would receive a 3 percent raise based on the midpoint salaries for those employees, so “those making above range would get 1 percent,” Schiller said.

Pay for substitute teachers was addressed. “Getting substitutes has been a challenge for us because we pay lower than other districts,” Schiller said. “We paid $70 a day for certified substitutes, and we would like to raise that to $70 for noncertified substitutes and $80 a day for certified.”

Health plan rates would increase an average of 8 percent for district employees on the Scott & White Health plan, Schiller said, while Teacher Retirement System rates would rise from none to 7 percent, depending on the coverage. First Care rates will see a half-percent decrease in cost.

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