The Argyle ISD board of trustees discussed staff raises for fiscal year 2024-25 at a May 22 meeting.

In an effort to increase retention and to offset an average 9%-10% increase in insurance rates, AISD looks to join surrounding Dallas-Fort Worth districts in proposing new compensation packages, Deputy Superintendent Chris Daniel said.

The details

The district is considering three options for next year’s compensation plan.
  • Option 1: A plan that includes no additional funds for staff raises
  • Option 2: A plan with a percent of midpoint increase
  • Option 3: A plan with a one-time payment
The one-time pay increase is paid outside of the normal salary schedule but does not bind the district to continue to pay the increase in years to come, Daniel said. The district is waiting on Texas Association of School Boards data to determine which midpoint percent raise to pursue.

First-year teachers in AISD started at $59,500 in FY 2023-24 compared to $61,150 in Coppell ISD and $60,850 in Lewisville ISD, which ranked first and second, respectively, in the top 10 surrounding districts, according to district data. Applicants with experience who transfer to the district have different starting salaries. If the district selects the option without staff raises, the starting salary for first-year teachers would need to be decreased so they are not making the same amount as second-year teachers, Daniel said.

Option 2 would cost between $500,000 and $1.6 million depending on the percent increase, and Option 3 is estimated between $500,000 and $700,000 depending on the amount of the one-time payment and the employee category, according to district documents.

Also of note

The district’s compensation plans can be funded either through state funding increases or using reserved funds. However, due to stagnant state funding from the Legislature and facing a continued budget shortfall of over $4 million, the district may need to pursue alternative funding avenues to cover the cost of raises, Daniel said.

One option could be through calling a voter-approval tax rate election, or VATRE, in November to increase the maintenance and operation tax rate, Daniel said. The district has not called a VATRE since 2012.

Looking ahead

District officials will present the three options for board approval at the June meeting, Daniel said. By then, more exact figures will be available on the percentage raise and one-time payment options.

District officials hope to provide raises without depleting the fund balance too much in the hopes that the Legislature will increase the basic allotment, board President Sam Slaton said.

“We want to be competitive; we want to be able to retain; we want to hire the best talent, and we want people to have a wage that they can live on,” Slaton said.