The Eanes ISD board of trustees is scheduled to vote on compensation and benefit adjustments at its upcoming board meeting.

A majority of trustees are leaning toward a roughly 2% salary increase for staff for the 2021-22 school year, per a discussion held during the May 11 special meeting.

The potential increase will follow this school year’s salary freeze that was triggered by financial concerns in part created by the coronavirus pandemic.

The bump would be comparable to increases provided by surrounding school districts such as Leander ISD, which recently approved a 2% raise for all staff.

Trustee Kim McMath initially said she would be more comfortable with an increase closer to 3% based on historical compensation decisions. While several districts made the decision to freeze salaries in the 2020-21 school year, McMath noted those districts provided higher increases than EISD the year prior.

District officials have often stated this is due to disparities in state funding provided by the Texas school finance bill, House Bill 3. Superintendent Tom Leonard previously told Community Impact Newspaper the district received roughly four times less than what nearby Lake Travis ISD received and therefore struggled to provide comparable raises.

“I struggle with comparing ourselves to other districts,” trustee Laura Clark said. “The funding of Eanes is very different from even the funding of Lake Travis next door.” Other finance challenges are related to the state’s basic funding allotment, which is currently set at $6,160 per student, according to the Texas Education Agency. Leonard said this rate represents the basic cost of educating a single student but it is not adjusted annually.

“It’s hard sometimes when they hold that basic allotment the same and they give the same amount of money for each kid every year,” Leonard said.

The board is scheduled to vote on compensation and benefit decisions at the upcoming May 25 regular board meeting. That adjustment is traditionally implemented by July 1, according to Leonard.