Round Rock ISD trustees approve 2 percent salary increase

After some debate Thursday night about delaying the vote, Round Rock ISD trustees voted unanimously for a 2 percent salary increase  for the 2017-18 school year.

The increase means eligible teachers, librarians and registered nurses will see a general pay increase of $1,000, and counselors and other licensed professionals will receive an increase of $1,212 in general pay. Administrative and operations support staff, along with other staff members, will also see an increase.

Trustee Mason Moses suggested postponing a vote on salaries until June.

“I think we got a pretty loud message sent our way [May 6] and while I’m not saying we not do something, I’m asking the question would we be better served waiting 30 days for us to try and absorb some of what’s happened,” he said. “There’s some things in the budget that need to be looked at very deeply.”

During the May 6 election, a $572.09 million bond package failed to garner enough voter support to pass.

Trustee Paul Tisch said he did not want to tie the salary decision to the election, which Moses said was not the intent.

“I would rather cut something else than cut the opportunity to give them a raise now,” Tisch said.

Chief Financial Officer Randy Staats said the district prefers to have the salary decision made before June so teachers can have information going into the summer months.

The district has raised salaries by 2 percent for the past two fiscal years.

Trustees also heard an update on budget projections for the next fiscal year. The district is anticipating a taxable property value growth of 9.8 percent, a tax collection rate of 99.5 percent and a growth in student enrollment by 526 students, Budget Manager Rosanna Guerrero said.

Currently, the projected total revenue is $399 million, and total expenditures are $406 million.

Guerrero called the numbers a working deficit, meaning it does not take into account items such as the salary adjustments or department allocation requests which will be presented over the next few months.

Board President Diane Cox pointed out that 526 students would fill the average elementary school in Texas, which Superintendent Steve Flores said district administrators should verbalize the growth rate better as the board moves forward.
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