The San Marcos CISD board of trustees unanimously approved a 3% pay increase for teachers and nurses at its meeting May 15.

Trustee Mari Salmi motioned to increase teacher and nurse pay by 3% including longevity pay subject to fund availability based on legislative action and to consider an additional pay raise at such point if that would change. The motion was seconded by Trustee Brian Shanks.

Salmi thought the longevity plan was a “wonderful option.”

“I hope it really is effective in keeping our teachers that have been here a long time; they provide so much to our district,” Salmi said.

What happened

Trustee Anne Halsey motioned to increase teacher salaries by 4% and increase the longevity plan for all staff, not just teachers, which was seconded by newly elected board member Jessica Cain.

But Halsey’s motion raised a concern among the board due to the financial impact it would pose to the district’s budget.

“I’m for giving the pay raise to the teachers with the longevity; I don’t have a problem with that part; it’s doing it across the board that’s putting a big question mark as to what the bottom line is going to be,” board President Clementine Cantu said.

Chief of Human Resources E. Dale Mitchell said any salary increase with a longevity plan would be a $235,345 increase for teachers and nurses. But Mitchell did not have an estimate for Halsey’s proposal.

“It would be an additional 665 potential employees, but I wouldn’t know how many of those would qualify for longevity until we looked at how long they’ve been with the district,” Mitchell said.

Cain later rescinded her second, citing cost concerns.

“I am a little concerned about cost and not knowing those numbers. In terms of increasing staff pay, I am on board but also would like to see those numbers,” Cain said.

Halsey amended her motion to give all staff a 4% additional pay increase in addition to teachers and nurses, who would receive a longevity incentive based on the scale presented by human resources. The 4% would be tacked on to previous staff pay raises, which were 2% for administration and 3% for hourly employees, but the motion died without a second.

Stay tuned

According to the district’s legal counsel, the board can amend pay increases until July 1. Education funding in the Texas Legislature could allow the district to amend pay to a higher scale.