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School board OKs raises

Profile image for By Britney Tabor
By Britney Tabor

Employees with the Denton school district can expect to see a salary increase reflected in their paychecks in the near future.

At a meeting Tuesday, the school board voted 7-0 in approval of an employee compensation package totaling more than $3.9 million to fund the pay raises.

According to district documents, the salary increases are twofold and include a general pay increase for all district employees and equity adjustments for employees whose current salaries are considered below market level.

A 2 percent pay raise of the midpoint in each pay grade was approved Tuesday. Employees who have surpassed the maximum salary in their pay grades will receive a pay increase of 1 percent of the midpoint, according to the district.

The pay increase reflects a minimum $1,225 pay increase for all district teachers, nurses and librarians. It also boosts salaries for teachers with no experience from $48,000 to $48,750.

“Overall, when you compare our compensation plan with the other 15 districts that we compare to, we’re in the upper half in most of our pay grades,” said Richard Valenta, assistant superintendent for human resources.

The total cost for the general pay increases is nearly $3.5 million and the equity adjustments total more than $415,000, according to district documents.

Superintendent Jamie Wilson said 12-month employees will see the raises in their paycheck Aug. 20, and the raise will be reflected in teachers’ September paychecks. He said that because the new fiscal year began July 1, the action approved by the board Tuesday is retroactive for 12-month employees.

Board President Glenna Harris said she’s thrilled trustees could give salary increases to district employees.

This is the latest the board has ever considered pay increases, according to district officials. Wilson said the district wanted to wait until appraised values were certified, and as a result the district was able to offer teachers about $225 more than it originally intended to give.

This is the second year the district has given a 2 percent pay raise of the midpoint.

The 2014-15 fiscal budget, approved in June, designates more than $2.8 million for the employee compensation package. Wilson said the budget will be amended to reflect the compensation plan approved Tuesday.

Some of the additional $3 million in revenue the district intends to generate as a result of its more than $1 billion growth in appraised values will offset costs for the package, he said.

Pay increases have continued going up by nearly 1 percent since 2011, according to a 2013-14 teacher compensation report published by the Texas Association of School Boards.

In the 2013-14 school year, districts in Texas gave returning teachers an average 2.9 percent pay increase; administrators and professional support employees were given an average pay increase between 2.8 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively; and clerical/paraprofessional support and auxiliary staff received 3.2 percent and 3.3 percent average pay increases, respectively, according to the report.

The survey included the responses of 592 school districts and was representative of 58 percent of the state’s school districts, according to the report.

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.