After a lively debate among members of the San Marcos CISD Board of Trustees, a 1% raise for teachers was approved for the upcoming school year.

Board members approved a 1% raise for teachers along with a 1% pay increase for administrators and a $0.50 raise for hourly employees at a May 18 meeting.

The raises will cost the school district about $844,000 and will leave a dent of about $1.14 million in deficit for the budget in the works, according to James Barton, interim assistant superintendent of business and support services at SMCISD.

Barton told board of trustees members that it was a staff recommendation to put a freeze on a general pay increase given the “uncertainty” and the “unknown” state of not only next year’s budget, but also the biennium.

After debating for almost an hour, board members approved the pay increase by a 4-3 vote.

“We’re heading into an unknown but we’re not heading off to a know cliff yet; and if next year’s budget may be awful, we might be in so much red that we won’t have the luxury to do this. I understand that it’s a recurring cost but 1% is reasonable in my estimation,” school board president John McGlothlin said before voting in favor for the general pay increase.

Trustee Lupe Costilla along with other board members thought differently. She said a one-time
stipend of up to $1,000 would be more valuable to teachers instead of a 1% raise.

“I’m here to support teachers but it’s going to impact our budget for next year," Costilla said when arguing against the pay increase. "I did find out what that 1% would be, and over a nine or 12-month period of time there’s really not much of an increase that the employee is getting."