Members of the Killeen Independent School District Board of Trustees continued to discuss the issue of employee salary and longevity pay for the 2013-14 school year at a workshop Tuesday night.
The board was presented with three options developed by the Texas Association of School Boards, or TASB. All three options would provide a general pay increase, as well as a bump in starting salary for new teachers.
According to information presented to the board at the workshop, roughly 87 percent of new teachers hired in the district had between zero and three years of experience.
“The zero-to-five-year zone is very important when you are talking about recruiting teachers,” Cindy Clegg, a TASB representative, told board members Tuesday night. “The goal is to be competitive in the market.”
The options presented to the board included a plan, presented by TASB earlier in the year, that would bump new teacher pay to $42,000 annually from $41,000 for school year 2012-13, and provide a pay raise of $1,280 for already-employed KISD teachers at a total cost of about $7.1 million.
The second option would increase starting teacher pay to $42,500 annually and give KISD educators a $1,330 pay increase at a total cost of $7.2 million.
“This would put (the district) in a more competitive position,” Clegg said.
The third and most aggressive option presented to board members would put starting teacher salary at $43,000 annually and give Killeen teachers a $1,500 pay increase. According to information presented at the workshop, that option would cost KISD an estimated $8 million.
In addition to increasing pay for teachers, the plans also would bump up pay for other district staff, including auxiliary and support employees whose pay is below the market average.
KISD is not the only district considering increasing pay for teachers and other employees next year. A TASB poll of Central Texas school districts taken in April revealed that 80 percent of participating districts planned to give pay increases of between 2 and 3 percent next year. That poll was taken prior to reports that state funding for education may increase from the previous year.
“Every district around here is moving up, and we are really challenged to be competitive,” said Robert Muller, KISD superintendent.
The cost of all three options presented to the board did not factor in the additional cost of longevity stipends paid to the district’s experienced teachers.
KISD Chief Financial Officer Megan Bradley said the current cost of the longevity pay program is about $8 million annually and the district expects an estimated increase of $700,000 for the 2013-14 school year.
The information presented to the board Tuesday was for discussion only; the board has yet to take any votes on salary or longevity stipends.