HOUSTON – June 11, 2019 –The Spring Independent School District Board of Trustees adopted a 2019-20 operating budget at its regular meeting on June 11 that funds classroom teacher raises between 4 and 6 percent, depending on experience.
“These teacher raises are part of Spring ISD’s commitment to reward our educators who do so much every day in the classroom to support the academic success of our students,” said Superintendent Rodney E. Watson. “Our teachers are true professionals and well-deserving of these pay increases.”
Part of the funding for the classroom teacher pay raises is the result of House Bill 3, which included requirements for increased compensation for staff as well as school property tax reform. But in the budget approved Tuesday, trustees allocated nearly $2 million more in funding for salary increases beyond what was mandated by the state.
The result is that classroom teachers with five years or more of experience will receive a salary increase of $3,250, which represents on average a 5 to 6 percent increase. Those with zero to four years of experience will receive a salary increase of $2,250, which is approximately a 4.3 percent increase. Counselors, nurses and librarians will receive a salary increase of 3.5 percent. Additionally, Community Academic Structured Education (CASE) paraprofessionals will receive a pay grade increase. All other employees will receive a 2 percent increase with custodians receiving a 75 cents per hour raise, in addition to the 2 percent.
The raises approved this year are the first compensation increases for employees since the 2017-18 school year. “We are very pleased to be able to provide these salary increases for our teachers and staff,” said Board President Rhonda Newhouse. “This is a great way to recognize all of their hard work, in the classroom and in support areas.”
In addition to funding raises, HB3 also included property tax relief. Under the budget approved Tuesday, the proposed Spring ISD tax rate would be $1.43 per $100 valuation, which is significantly less than last year’s $1.51. For a home with a taxable value of $200,000, the tax bill would decrease to $2,860 from $3,020 — representing a 5 percent or $160 savings for the homeowner. State law requires school districts to adopt a budget by June 30, but the tax rates aren’t formally approved until later in the year.
“This budget funds all of our district priorities while providing raises to our educators and giving much needed relief to our taxpayers,” said Chief Financial Officer Ann Westbrooks. “We are continuing to study HB3 and its requirements on district finances, particularly over the long term.”
Additionally, the budget includes funding for school safety initiatives and college, career and military readiness programs. It also provides funding to lower the student-to-teacher ratio at the middle school level to 30 to 1, as well as staff for new facilities.
The $416,942,895 Total Operating Budget includes $324,667,675 in the general fund, $64,446,015 in the debt service fund and $27,829,205 in the child nutrition fund. The total proposed tax rate of $1.43 per $100 valuation is based on the combined 97 cent Maintenance and Operations tax rate and 46 cent Interest and Sinking tax rate, which is used to pay the debt service requirements on outstanding bonds.
A public hearing was held prior to the board’s adoption of the budget.