San Marcos CISD trustees discuss pay raises, student enrollment at first budget workshop of the year

San Marcos CISD trustees had a first look at the preliminary fiscal year 2018-19 budget.

San Marcos CISD trustees had a first look at the preliminary fiscal year 2018-19 budget.

San Marcos CISD trustees got their first look at the preliminary fiscal year 2018-19 budget Monday and learned the school district is expected to grow by 240 students next year.

Most of the student growth will be at Hernandez and Bowie elementary schools, according to Karen Griffith, assistant superintendent of business and support.

The district had 8,148 students enrolled as of Jan. 19, according to Monica Ruiz-Mills, assistant superintendent of teaching, learning and assessments.


Salary increases


District staff also presented trustees with several options for salary increases.

The first option would give all teachers a $1,000 raise, which would cost the district an additional $558,189 in salary increases. The second option would give all teachers a $1,500 raise, which would cost the district an additional $837,177 in salary increases.

Staff also gave an option for $416,000 in longevity incentives for teachers who have been with the district for at least five years.

Last fiscal year, each teacher received a $1,250 salary increase.

During the 2017-18 school year, a first-year teacher's starting salary was $47,000, which falls in the "middle of the pack" compared to other school districts in the area, according to Willie Watson, assistant superintendent of human resources. On the low end, Wimberly ISD's starting teacher salary was $41,609, and on the high end, New Braunfels ISD's starting teacher salary was $49,000.

Staff also presented two raise options for paraprofessionals. The first option gives paraprofessionals a $1.50 per hour raise to a starting hourly wage of $12.10, which would cost the district an additional $606,277.

The second option gives paraprofessionals a $2 per hour raise to a starting hourly wage of $12.60, which would cost the district an additional $806,672.

Last fiscal year, hourly employees received a $1 per hour raise. Hourly manual trade professionals such as custodians and bus drivers currently make $10.60. Clerical professionals—including instructional assistants and registrars—currently make $10.80 per hour.

Trustee Miguel Arrendondo said he wanted to know whether it would be possible to give employees who live within the school district an additional raise and asked to see how many employees would be eligible for that raise.

Watson said he hopes a salary increase option will be voted on for both teachers and paraprofessionals by the board's March meeting.

Preliminary budget, staff numbers


Griffith said based on preliminary numbers, the school district's revenue will increase by $4.3 million in FY 2018-19 based on a projected 8.5 percent growth in tax revenue, which she said has been the norm for the last five years.

She said without factoring in salary increases, expenditures are projected to increase by about $1.9 million.

The total proposed revenue in FY 2018-19 is $76.14 million, with $75.7 million expected to be spent. In FY 2016-17, the district received $70.13 million in revenue and spent $67 million.

Since FY 2012-13, revenues have increased by $15.23 million and expenditures have increased by $13.14 million.



SMCISD District Superintendent Michael Cardona asked trustees to keep in mind this year's budget would include the opening of a new elementary school.

Griffith said based on current projections, the school district could be subject to recapture—in which the state takes a certain amount of money from districts considered "property rich" and distributes them to "property-poor" districts—in three years.

Watson said discussion on the district’s share of health insurance coverage for district employees would come at a later month. Last fiscal year, the district’s contribution expanded from $341 to $351 monthly.

The district is adding four new San Marcos High School teachers based on academic scores on assessments in the next school year, and additional staffing adjustments will be made because of the projected increase in enrollment at SMHS, Goodnight and Miller middle schools and the elementary schools.

Cardona said the district is moving to a 10-month budget cycle, meaning the fiscal year would begin July 1 instead of Sept. 1. This gives teachers and staff the funds to pay for materials they need in the 2018-19 school year rather than waiting until August, he said.

"We're trying to be more proactive," he told trustees.

Trustees will have another budget workshop on March 5.


MOST RECENT

Community members were invited to the Hutto ISD Ninth Grade Center for an open house Aug. 5. (Brooke Sjoberg/Community Impact Newspaper)
Hutto ISD unveils $49M Ninth Grade Center with ribbon cutting, open house

Hutto ISD celebrated the completion of its Ninth Grade Center Aug. 5 with a ribbon cutting and open house.

Austin city staff, police and volunteers managed the clearing of a portion of downtown Austin's Cesar Chavez Street homeless encampment Aug. 5. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
City-backed homeless encampment relocations continue days ahead of shift in Austin camping ban enforcement

The city is working to connect as many as 60 people living along Cesar Chavez Street with temporary shelter this week.

The library will incorporate the new programs during the fall/winter of 2021-22. Until then, parents and guardians are encouraged to use the new Bright by Text service to access child development tools and information. (Community Impact Newspaper)
New Braunfels Public Library awarded grant to provide family-focused programming

The library will incorporate the new programs during the fall/winter of 2021-22. Until then, parents and guardians are encouraged to use the new Bright by Text service to access child development tools and information.

Photo of downtown Austin over Lady Bird Lake
Austin-Travis County officially moves to Stage 5 coronavirus risk

Austin Public Health released new guidelines for both vaccinated and unvaccinated community members as hospitalizations associated with COVID-19 continue to rise.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced the date for a second special legislative session. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Gov. Abbott announces second special session agenda

The special session will be Aug. 7 with 17 items on the agenda ranging from bail reform to employment.

San Marcos City Council set out to have a discussion about the city's utility assistance program and ended up forgiving all current residential delinquencies. (Photo Warren Brown/Community Impact Newspaper)
San Marcos City Council forgives utility debt and more Central Texas-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area, including how GoGeo fixed-route bus service in Georgetown will end Oct. 1.

San Marcos City Council set out to have a discussion about the city's utility assistance program and ended up forgiving all current residential delinquencies. (Photo Warren Brown/Community Impact Newspaper)
San Marcos City Council forgives utility debt

City Council previously set up a program to assist with payments.

The proposed Wild Ridge master-planned neighborhood northeast of downtown Dripping Springs would include 960 homes on 40- to 60-foot-wide lots. (Courtesy City of Dripping Springs)
Master-planned neighborhood in Dripping Springs to bring 960 homes, new roads

The proposed development by Meritage Homes would feature amenities such as a disc golf course.

TxDOT breaks ground on the $107 million I-35 at Hwy. 123 project in San Marcos. (Benton Graham/Community Impact Newspaper)
Construction on I-35 at Hwy. 123 project in San Marcos gets underway

The project is one of several initiatives that TxDOT is undertaking on I-35 in Central Texas.

Q&A: Greg Smith, executive director of Fast Growth School Coalition

Greg Smith is the former superintendent of Clear Creek ISD and became executive director of Fast Growth School Coalition in December 2020. 

The Kyle City Council approved a map for an update to its transportation master plan during a meeting July 6. (Courtesy Fotolia)
New Kyle transportation plan seeks to keep pace with city’s relentless growth

The plan outlines an increase of I-35 crossings from three to five.

Hays County health officials are urging members of the community to get vaccinated to avoid hospitalization and serious illness. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Hays County reports 2 COVID-19-related fatalities as cases continue to climb

Hays County reported two deaths and 470 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend.