Employees with the Argyle school district will receive pay increases in the new school year.
In two separate unanimous votes last week, the Argyle school board approved a $1,200 pay increase for teachers and full-time librarians, counselors and school nurses, and a 3 percent pay increase for all other district employees. The pay increase for teachers and full-time librarians, counselors and school nurses is in addition to the annual step increases offered to educators for additional years of service, Superintendent Telena Wright said.
“It’s a well-deserved increase in compensation,” Wright said.
She said teachers and full-time librarians, counselors and school nurses have not received “a significant increase in several years.” For the 2012-13 year, Argyle teachers and full-time librarians, counselors and school nurses received only step increases, and the year prior they received $500 in addition to their step increases. According to district documents, the last substantial pay increases for teachers and full-time librarians, counselors and school nurses was in the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years, when they received $1,000 in addition to step increases. Wright said the pay increases are also being offered to offset increased insurance costs.
According to Liz Stewart, Argyle’s chief financial officer, the district will spend $228,000 for pay increases going to teachers and full-time librarians, counselors and school nurses and $79,500 for all other district employees.
In a separate motion June 17, the Argyle school board voted unanimously to convert the substitute pay rate to a tiered rate system based on whether a substitute has a degree or teacher certification.
According to district documents, the district looks to increase the substitute rate for the 2013-14 year, citing that Argyle has some of the lowest substitute rates in the area and as a result has issues filling substitute requests.
Currently, the district pays a rate of $60 a day for substitutes and $75 a day for long-term substitutes who serve more than 10 consecutive days in the same position, Wright said.
Under the new adopted tiered system, taking effect for the 2013-14 school year, the district will pay $65 daily for substitutes without degrees, $70 for substitutes with degrees and $75 for substitutes who are Texas certified teachers. Substitutes without a degree serving long-term will receive $80 after 10 consecutive days in the same position. Long-term substitutes with degrees will receive $85 a day, and long-term substitutes with a teacher’s certification will receive $90 a day.
District officials say the budget impact of the rate increase will depend on the number of substitutes used, but Argyle estimates the rate increases will cost about $25,000.
All those actions are being added to the district’s 2013-14 budget, which the board is slated to consider in August. According to early projections presented last week, general fund expenses are estimated to total $15.68 million. District officials are currently projecting a more than $441,000 budget deficit that’s attributed to pay raises and reinstating positions recently cut, Wright said. Argyle starts its new fiscal year Sept. 1.
BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.