PISD staff receives 3 percent pay raise: Changes also made to teacher's starting salaries
Plano ISD employees will receive a 3 percent pay raise during the 2012-2013 school year in an effort to keep their salaries competitive with neighboring districts.
A new salary compensation package was approved unanimously by the PISD Board of Trustees on Tuesday night. Under the new system, a teacher with a bachelor's degree will receive an additional $1,555 per year, while those with master's degrees will receive $1,614.
"Last year was a really tough year," said Richard Matkin, the district's interim superintendent. "We had big reductions to get a balanced budget. ... Every teacher is teaching more kids this year. We cut stipends last year, cut across-the-board travel last year and insurance costs went up last year. All employees took a step back last year."
Matkin said the raises were important and a way to show the staff they were appreciated. He said the raises would also help counter inflation, which is hovering around 3 percent.
In addition to the raises, the district also increased the starting salary for teachers. Under the new salary structure, a teacher with a bachelor's degree and no teaching experience will begin work with a salary of $46,700. A teacher with a master's degree will have a starting salary of $48,700.
"We want to attract those teachers to come to our school district," said Trustee Carrolyn Moebius. "If you look at the termination report presented tonight, eight of the 43 teachers who are leaving are going to neighboring school districts. Four of the 43 are going to private industry. So, I firmly believe we need to do this."
Changes to the compensation plan will cost the district nearly $9 million during the upcoming school year, which will come out of the district's $160 million fund balance. During the recent economic downturn the fund balance was increased for times like this, said Trustee David Stolle.
"The plan all along was to build up the fund balance for a rainy day," he said. "We are at that rainy day, it is raining."
During the meeting, a public hearing was called for June 5 regarding the 2012-2013 tax rate. For the second consecutive year, the district's tax rate will not increase. The maintenance and operations rate will remain at $1.04 per $100 of assessed value, while the interest and sinking (debt service) rate will remain at $0.3334. The total tax rate of $1.3734 is one of the lowest in the area.
The average Plano home, valued at $253,700, will pay about $3,278 in taxes. Even with the tax rate remaining the same, a slight drop in property values means the average homeowner will pay $31.58 less in taxes than they paid during the 2011-2012 school year.
The board will adopt the budget at its June 5 meeting, which will be held at the Plano ISD Administration Building, 2700 W. 15th Street, and will begin at 7 p.m.