Abilene ISD begins new school year with pay raise

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ABILENE, Texas (News Release) – The Abilene ISD Board of Trustees on Monday night approved the 2019-20 compensation plan, which includes the largest raise for many district employees since 2006-07 and an eight percent raise for the most experienced teachers in the district. 

In the plan adopted by the trustees, first-year teacher salaries will go from $45,000 to $47,000, and then the following tiers will be put into place:

• 6% raise for teachers with 1-5 years of experience;

• 7% raise for teachers with 6-15 years of experience;

• 8% raise for teachers with 16 or more years of experience.

Each of the increases for teachers, librarians and nurses (RNS) at those three levels are percentage-based raises from their current salaries. Information technology, clerical / para-professional and auxiliary employees will all receive a 6% raise from the midpoint, while administrators will receive a 5% raise from the midpoint. The total increase in payroll expenditures is $6.4 million for the 2019-20 school year. The raises will go into effect for the 2019-20 school year with most employees seeing the increase in their initial September paycheck. 

“I’m so pleased – and I know our trustees are pleased as well – for our district to be able to offer this kind of increase to our teachers and staff,” AISD superintendent Dr. David Young said. “I want to thank our board trustees for the time, thought and effort that went into this decision, as well as our chief financial officer (Melissa Irby) for her work in modeling different options for our board to consider. The eight percent increase that our veteran teachers will be receiving is among the largest in the state, and it reflects the great work that’s being done by the people in our district. We always want to reward our teachers and staff when we can, and I believe this is a great way for us to start the new school year.”

Texas House Bill 3 – signed into law in early June by Gov. Greg Abbott – gave school districts throughout Texas more than $6 billion to improve public education and increase teachers salaries and an additional $5.1 billion to lower school district taxes. In addition to the raises, the AISD is adding positions – four new social workers throughout the district as an example – to aid teachers and students throughout the district.

Other news from Monday night’s trustees meeting:

• The trustees also approved the publication of a seven-cent tax rate reduction. The proposed tax rate and 2019-20 budget will be discussed at a special called meeting on Aug. 26 at 5:30 p.m. The 2019 tax rate will be $1.3214, up from $1.2024. The increase in the tax rate is attributable to the 2018 bond package of $138,679,000. However, the Maintenance & Operations rate will be $0.97 (down from $1.04 in 2018-19) and the Interest and Sinking rate will be $0.3514.

• The trustees also approved the District and Campus Improvement Plans, and heard an update on the Behavior and Discipline Report. Last year the AISD had 43 less mandatory DAEP placements, 173 less discretionary DAEP placements and 856 less out-of-school suspension days, which resulted in a savings of $25,680 to the school district. The district also saw 407 less in-school suspension days.

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