Leander ISD considers $800 employee stipends; district looks to fill substitute vacancies

lisd
The district and board of trustees discussed the move at the Nov. 5 board meeting. (Community Impact file photo)

The district and board of trustees discussed the move at the Nov. 5 board meeting. (Community Impact file photo)

Leander ISD employees may get an $800 stipend in December to cover personal protective equipment expenses related to the pandemic.

The district and board of trustees discussed the amended compensation plan at the Nov. 5 meeting. Approval is pending a board vote Nov. 19.

This is an alternative to the 2% one-time payment suggested in May, which was in lieu of a permanent raise in the 2020-21 budget. The 2% payment was dependent on the school district reaching student enrollment criteria. Enrollment was about 1,000 students short of the 43,100 criteria on Oct. 30.

The district would provide full-time employees with an $800 stipend, and 0.5 full-time equivalent employees would receive $400. Payments would be given in December, according to the district.

The plan also includes the hiring of a third-party vendor to provide substitutes at a 100% fill rate. The district said listening sessions showed a need for additional substitutes, said Karie Lynn McSpadden, the district’s chief human resources officer.


Board Member Elexis Grimes said the stipends are a small gesture of kindness to teachers. She said many teachers have spent their own money this school year on computers, audio equipment and other items.

The district set aside $5.4 million for the now unfulfilled one-time payments, which would cover the approved stipends and vendor hiring. The amended plan will not require a budget amendment.

Board member Aaron Johnson raised concerns about the district’s current budget deficit, and he questioned how the stipends would affect the district’s existing fund balance.

In response, Board Member Gloria Gonzales-Dholakia said a global pandemic is an example of a time to use the fund balance. She said the district’s choice to give stipends is important for educators’ morale.

Superintendent Bruce Gearing said the conversation should be focused on the opportunity to support teachers in a difficult time.

“I think we have an opportunity now to do something to help support our teachers," he said. "And not just our teachers but all of our staff."
By Taylor Girtman
After interning with Community Impact Newspaper in 2019, Taylor Girtman became a reporter for the Cedar Park and Leander edition in February 2020.


MOST RECENT

Here are the most recent coronavirus updates from Williamson County.(Community Impact staff)
Nearly half of Williamson County is vaccinated, but positivity rate climbs again

Here are the most recent coronavirus updates from Williamson County.

Blue Corn Harvest Leander is located at 11840 Hero Way W., Bldg. A, Leander. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Blue Corn Harvest opens in Leander; park, pizzeria launches social club and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

Blue Corn Harvest Leander is located at 11840 Hero Way W., Bldg. A, Leander.
Blue Corn Harvest's Leander location now open

Blue Corn Harvest opened its third location April 19.

Photo of people receiving vaccines in a gym
Austin Public Health lengthens windows for vaccine appointment signups

Residents age 18 and up can now sign up for appointments with APH any time from Saturday to Tuesday morning.

Pastries
Seattle's Piroshky Piroshky Bakery bringing pastries to Cedar Park April 21

The bakery will bring its famous Russian pastries to Cedar Park for a one-day event.

The Pushing for Justice Caravan for Javier Ambler was held in San Gabriel Park on Aug. 15. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Javier Ambler’s Law awaits Texas Senate approval

The bill passed the House on April 15.

Jack Allen's Kitchen will be at 1345 E. Whitestone Blvd., Cedar Park. (Rendering courtesy Jack Allen's Kitchen)
7 restaurants coming to Cedar Park, Leander; new murals to go up in Georgetown and more top area news

Read the top business and community news from the Central Texas area from the past week.

The program, which began this week in San Marcos, gives Amazon and Whole Foods employees and contractors direct access to COVID-19 vaccinations. (Courtesy Amazon)
Amazon begins rollout of statewide vaccination clinics for employees

The program, which began this week in San Marcos, gives Amazon and Whole Foods employees and contractors direct access to COVID-19 vaccinations.

See how Leander and Cedar Park real estate fared in March. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
See how Leander, Cedar Park real estate fared in March

The Central Texas real estate market continues to set housing records despite affordability growing pains, according to March Austin Board of Realtors data.

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from Williamson County. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
New coronavirus cases continue to be reported even as vaccinations ramp up in Williamson County

Here are the most recent coronavirus updates from Williamson County.

Austin FC supporters celebrate the official announcement of the team in January 2019. (Amy Denney/Community Impact Newspaper)
How, where to watch historic first Austin FC match April 17

Check out this list of breweries, pubs and restaurants around Central Texas that are hosting watch parties for April 17's inaugural Austin FC game.

Z'Tejas' chorizo dumplings are served on the Arboretum location's porch. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Z'Tejas to open in Avery Ranch; butcher, deli to open in Dripping Springs and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.