Education

Fort Worth school employees to get at least 3% pay raises with boost from state

In June, the Fort Worth school board voted on an estimated $821.5 million general fund budget. The budget for 2019-2020 included raises for teachers.
In June, the Fort Worth school board voted on an estimated $821.5 million general fund budget. The budget for 2019-2020 included raises for teachers. amccoy@star-telegram.com

The Fort Worth school board approved salary increases required under House Bill 3 — a comprehensive plan that combines a local compensation effort with $17.3 million in state dollars aimed at boosting pay for teachers and other employees .

The compensation plan passed with a unanimous 8-0 vote from the board.

Superintendent Kent P. Scribner celebrated the vote with a tweet: “#PublicEducation, the BEST investment a community can make in its future!! We are very pleased to be able to invest in our teachers and their students!”

Earlier this summer, the Fort Worth school board voted unanimously in favor of an estimated $821.5 million general fund budget that included a local compensation plan that gave teachers and employees at least a 2% pay increase while investing in campus programs.

At the time, the district didn’t include money approved for schools by Texas lawmakers under House Bill 3, or HB 3, because they wanted to be certain of how much revenue the district would receive. The amount the district will get from the state is $57.7 million. Thirty percent, or $17.3 million, needs to pay for the raises outlined by lawmakers.

On Tuesday, the district came back with the HB3 compensation allotment plan that included the district’s earlier compensation package, which totaled $18 million, and the $17.3 million from the state.

“The increases were made possible by the district’s compensation package approved by the board on June 25 together with the HB compensation allotment,” said Elise Schiro, chief financial officer for the district.

Schiro told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in June: “The amount of the additional raises will be determined in July/August, and will result in teachers receiving raises of up to 6%.”

Under the bill, 30 percent of the district’s allotment must pay for salary increases for classroom teachers, counselors, nurses, librarians and all other employees, excluding administrators.

There are 11,930 employees in the district. All employees are getting at least a 3% pay increase for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

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A chart shows a comprehensive plan that combines a local compensation effort with $17.3 million in state dollars aimed at boosting pay for teachers and other employees in the Fort Worth school district. Diane Smith dianesmith@star-telegram.com

The board reviewed a recommendation that follows the state’s requirements while also including the 2% boost approved in June. The district’s compensation plan includes:

First-year teachers: $54,000 starting salary and pay grade adjustments for teachers.

Teachers with one to five years years of experience average 5.8% increase.

Teachers with six to 15 years of experience average 6.9% increase.

Teachers with 16-31 years of experience average of 6.1% increase.

Counselors, nurses, librarians average of 5% increase.

All other full-time employees a minimum of 3.2% increase.

Administrators 3% of midpoint or 3 percent, whichever is greater.

The district’s general fund budget is based on local tax revenue, including a 7.5% increase in taxable property values and state dollars based on attendance. The district’s enrollment is 82,601 with an average daily attendance of 74,800.

High school football coaches at the state’s biggest suburban high schools will make an average salary of $104,000 this year

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Diane Smith, a graduate from the University of Texas at Austin, has been a reporter for the Star-Telegram since 1997. Smith, who has covered municipal government, immigration and education, has won multiple awards for reporting, most recently as part of a Star-Telegram team recognized by the Headliners Foundation of Texas for coverage of child abuse and Fort Worth’s Las Vegas Trail area.
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