“Every Employee of Latexo ISD is Getting a Raise”
By Will Johnson
LATEXO – The Latexo Independent School District Board of Trustees met at high noon on Monday, June 24 to discuss employee pay rates.
If you’ve ever watched a western, you know the timing of the LISD board meeting may have had an ominous sound. When the trustees emerged from behind closed doors, however, there were nothing but smiles as the district approved significant pay raises for all employees.
The meeting was called to order by LISD Board President Kelly Nicol who advised the first order of business would be to adjourn into an executive session.
When the board reconvened in open session approximately 30 later, a motion was made to approve the 2019-2020 employee salary instrument. The motion was seconded and unanimously approved. With no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
After the meeting, Nicol and LISD Superintendent Michael Woodard spoke about the employee pay hikes.
“Basically,” Nicol began, “the state has come out with a new minimum pay scale. What we are going to do – it’s a 20-year pay scale the state has adopted – we just approved to give our teachers an additional $3,500 above the state mandate.”
As an example, Nicol and Woodard explained the salary of a first-year teacher using the old state salary scale was $28,080 during the 2018-2019 school year. Under the new state scale, a first-year teacher’s salary would now be $33,660. Combined with the just approved $3,500 addition, a first-year teacher in Latexo will now earn $37,160.
At the top end of the pay scale, a teacher with 20 years of experience earned a salary of $45,510 during the 2018-2019 school year. In the 2019-2020 school year, however, that same teacher with 20 years of experience will now earn $58,040.
“We’re very proud of this,” Nicol said.
Asked if the Latexo faculty was aware of the pay raise they just received, the superintendent smiled and said, “They know something is coming, but they didn’t know this was coming. They’re going to be very happy!”
“A lot of people don’t know right now,” Woodard continued. “A lot of district’s are slow-playing it right now, but we’re trying to get ahead in the game. This is not something we just pulled out. This is something we have done a lot of work on. “(LISD Business Manager) Mrs. (Jo) Lane and Joe Smith (ESC 6 Consultant) have worked very hard on this. We’ve done the (financial) template over and over again.”
The increased pay scale came about through the passage of House Bill 3 by the Texas Legislature. Concerning the staff and paraprofessionals at LISD, Woodard explained all of this was covered under the legislation.
“HB 3 provided new funding to all school districts. You have to put 30% of the funding towards raises. Out of that 30 %, you had to give 75% to teacher raises. The other 25% goes to everyone else. Custodial, maintenance, paraprofessionals and office staff are all part of that 25%. They are all getting a raise of between six and nine percent, also,” Woodard explained.
“Every employee of Latexo ISD is getting a raise,” Nicol added.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.