Round Rock ISD approves $446.3M budget, increases staff pay

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Round Rock ISD will pay experienced teachers more and increase the district’s upcoming budget by about $1 million over the current one.

The Round Rock ISD board of trustees on June 20 approved a $446.3 million budget for FY 2019-20, which begins July 1. Within the approved budget is a revised compensation plan—to the tune of $22.3 million—that bolsters the one approved in May.

“This is a big victory day,” RRISD Trustee Cory Vessa said. “Let’s keep advocating for public education. This budget is a testament to things changing.”

 

Salary raises

Teachers, librarians, nurses, counselors and licensed professionals will now receive a 7-8% pay raise, depending on years of experience, according to the budget presentation.

For teachers, librarians and nurses with six years of experience or more, the salary increase amounts to around $4,300, Christen Gray, associate director of human resources services and compensation, said. Those with one to five years of experience will receive a raise between $3,200-$3,600.

Counselors with six or more years of experience will receive a $4,824 salary bump, Gray said, while those with one to five years of experience will get $3,630.

All other employees will receive the 3.5% increase approved May 16, according to a district news release.

The salary increase will cost the district $22.3 million, RRISD Chief Financial Officer Kenneth Adix said during the presentation.

House Bill 3

Board members pointed to the passage of House Bill 3 as a means to be able to increase salaries without greatly impacting the overall budget. Changes to school finance related to HB3 secured an additional $24 million in state funding for RRISD.

“House Bill 3 allows us to meaningfully address teacher salaries across the board, but particularly to focus on our experienced teachers,” RRISD Superintendent Steve Flores said in the release. “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.”

In light of the passage of HB3 during the legislative session, RRISD will not be required to pay recapture money in FY 2019-20. The state of Texas uses a recapture system to funnel a percentage of money from property wealthy school districts to property poor districts.

RRISD will operate at a projected $7.4 million, one-year deficit, per the budget. While the district has adopted a deficit budget for the past three years, RRISD has ended each year at least $10 million above budgeted expectations, according to the release.

Prior to legislative intervention, RRISD was slated to pay $58.2 million in recapture for the 2019-2020 school year, according to the district’s website. In FY 2018-19, RRISD budgeted $32.3 million for recapture.

Impact to taxpayers

The approved budget is based on a tax rate of $1.23 per $100 valuation, which will come to the board for approval in September, according to the district.

The average home value in Round Rock ISD after homestead exemption is $318,783, according to the district.

Should the proposed rate pass in September, estimated school district taxes would amount to $3,936.

Last year, the average home value after homestead exemption was $302,571, for which school district property taxes totaled $3,948. So even with an increase in value, the tax bill goes down by $12 for the average home owner.

“That’s good news for our taxpayers,” Adix said.

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Taylor Jackson Buchanan
Taylor Jackson Buchanan is the editor for the Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition of Community Impact Newspaper. She has a bachelor's and master's degree from The University of Texas.
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