Round Rock ISD trustees approved pay increases for most positions in the district, with veteran teachers receiving the biggest boost.
In June, the district’s school board unanimously approved an amended compensation plan for the 2019-2020 school year that infuses more revenue into salaries for teachers, librarians, registered nurses, counselors and licensed professionals with an emphasis on ensuring veteran teachers receive a substantial pay increase.
The move comes after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 3 into law earlier this month. The school finance reform bill provides more funding for Texas public school districts and directs districts to “prioritize differentiated compensation for full-time teachers with more than five years of experience.”
Teachers, librarians and nurses with six years of experience or more will now receive a $4,300 annual pay increase and those with one to five years of experience will see a $3,200-$3,600 annual boost, based on a 187-day work year.
Counselors and licensed professionals with six or more years of experience will receive a $4,824 increase, while those with one to five years of experience will get $3,630, based on a 190-day year.
In a news release, teh district said that translates to roughly a 7-8% increase for most teachers, counselors, librarians and licensed professionals – depending on years of experience.
All other employees will receive a general 3.5 percent increase approved by the board on May 16, the release said.
The district said the salary increases will cost the District $22.3 million. That expense is included in a $446.3 million total budget approved by the board in June.
“We appreciate the hard work of the Governor and the Texas Legislature this session to ensure school finance remained a priority,” said RRISD Superintendent Steve Flores. “House Bill 3 allows us to meaningfully address teacher salaries across the board, but particularly to focus on our experienced teachers. We want to give them the opportunity to remain in the classroom, if that’s where they choose to be, rather than move into administration or out of the education field altogether in order to make a higher salary.”
Changes to the school finance system via House Bill 3 had a major impact on Round Rock ISD’s budget, providing approximately $24 million in additional funding from the state and eliminating a so-called “Robin Hood” payment that had been projected at roughly $50 million for the upcoming year.
Texas school funding operates under a recapture or “Robin Hood” system, where districts deemed “property wealthy” must send money back to the state to be distributed to districts deemed “property poor.” Last year, Round Rock ISD budgeted to send $32.3 million of local property taxes back to the state under the system. Because House Bill 3 increased the state’s share of public education funding, Round Rock ISD’s recapture payment dropped to $0 for 2019-2020.
“As Trustees, we are focused on doing what’s right for our educators, students and community members,” Board President Charles Chadwell said. “We are proud to be providing historic salary increases to all of our staff, and particularly to our teachers, and are thankful to our state legislators for listening to leaders of Texas public school districts and making education a priority this session.”