Dripping Springs ISD considers teacher compensation ahead of budget-planning process

The DSISD board of trustees heard a presentation on teacher pay at a recent meeting. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
The DSISD board of trustees heard a presentation on teacher pay at a recent meeting. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

The DSISD board of trustees heard a presentation on teacher pay at a recent meeting. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

The Dripping Springs ISD board of trustees heard a report on teacher and staff compensation at its April 19 agenda review meeting and received recommendations for staff compensation planning as the district enters its budget planning process for the 2021-22 school year.

Luz Cadena, a human resources and compensation consultant from the Texas Association of School Boards, said DSISD lags slightly behind its peer districts in teacher compensation, paying teachers an average of $53,860, which is $962 behind the local market median salary. The exception was for the district’s most experienced educators, those with 20 years of experience or more, whose compensation is on par with or higher than the local market median.

The comparison did not include any one-time payments issued by DSISD or other districts this year; DSISD authorized a one-time $500 retention incentive for district staff in November to acknowledge "unanticipated extra workloads" caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Because that amount was not included into base pay, we can’t really, truly do an apples to apples comparison,” Cadena said.

To maintain competitive compensation, Cadena recommended DSISD prioritize strong starting salaries and midcareer salaries comparable to the local market, including districts such as Austin ISD, Eanes ISD and Lake Travis ISD. To close these gaps, she advised considering a 2%-3% general pay increase for teachers and staff, which would carry a cost of $1.23 million-$1.62 million.


The role of stipends was also discussed. Unlike six of its 16 area peers, DSISD does not offer stipends for faculty with secondary math and science specializations and offers a lower-than-median stipend for bilingual educators—$4,500 compared to $5,500.

“If the district begins to encounter difficulty recruiting quality teachers with these types of certification requirements, then the district could certainly consider adding a stipend so that [DSISD] could be competitive in pay with peer districts,” Cadena said.

The district will consider teacher pay and other budget line items over the coming months. A proposed budget is set to be released June 14 with a budget for the 2021-22 year adopted by June 28.

Editor's note: This story was updated April 22 to reflect the correct amount of DSISD's rentention incentives issued last year.
By Olivia Aldridge
Olivia is the reporter for Community Impact's Central Austin edition. A graduate of Presbyterian College in upstate South Carolina, Olivia was a reporter and producer at South Carolina Public Radio before joining Community Impact in Austin.


MOST RECENT

Tacodeli co-owners Roberto Espinosa and Eric Wilkerson opened their first location in 1999. The seventh location for the local chain in Austin will open this summer in Circle C. (Courtesy Tacodeli)
Tacodeli to open a Circle C location this summer

The new location will be the seventh in Austin for the locally based chain, which first opened in 1999.

The city of Austin's Smart Mobility Office has partnered with Ford on self-driving vehicle initiatives. (Courtesy Ford Motor Company)
Austin's transportation department paving the way for rise in autonomous vehicle traffic

Several private companies are working on autonomous vehicle initiatives in Austin in addition to the city's own smart infrastructure planning.

Goodfolks plans to open in late July to early August. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
New restaurant coming to Georgetown; new Hutto community to have nearly 1K lots and more top Central Texas news

Read the top business and community news from the past week from Central Texas.

COVID-19 precautions such as a masking requirement remain in place at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. (Courtesy Austin-Bergstrom International Airport)
'Signs of hope' on the horizon at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport after year-plus dip in air travel

Rising passenger counts, new airline operations and an increase in vaccinations could all support the airport's recovery in 2021.

Capital Metro bus
Capital Metro announces increased transit services for Austin FC games this season

Capital Metro has increased the frequency of several bus routes for Austin FC game days at Q2 Stadium.

masks
CDC ends all mask requirements for fully vaccinated people

The guidance states fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks indoors or outdoors.

Students at Norman-Sims Elementary School and Austin ISD's 124 other schools across the district will now be allowed to remove masks during outdoor physical activities with the permission of a parent or guardian. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin ISD makes outdoor masking optional, eases other health, safety restrictions

Students engaging in outdoor physical activity will now have the option to remove masks.

House Bill 1024, signed into law May 12, allows restaurants and bars to permanently sell alcoholic beverages to-go. (Courtesy Pexels)
Cocktails to-go are here to stay in Texas: Gov. Greg Abbott signs change into law May 12

Supporters say the change will help restaurants continue to recover from the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Austin's phased process for moving people experiencing homelessness out of unregulated encampments will roll out through the summer. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
City officials detail homeless education and enforcement plan with Proposition B ordinances now in effect

The process that will eventually remove the city's homeless encampment begins this month with outreach and warnings and will stretch until late summer with full enforcement.