Support staff shortages continue to affect Grapevine-Colleyville, Carroll ISDs

Grapevine-Colleyville ISD, like many districts, has offered additional compensation to staff and future hires to stay market competitive. (Courtesy Grapevine-Colleyville ISD)
Grapevine-Colleyville ISD, like many districts, has offered additional compensation to staff and future hires to stay market competitive. (Courtesy Grapevine-Colleyville ISD)

Grapevine-Colleyville ISD, like many districts, has offered additional compensation to staff and future hires to stay market competitive. (Courtesy Grapevine-Colleyville ISD)

A shortage of support staff has encouraged Grapevine-Colleyville and Carroll ISDs to continuously seek solutions to remain competitive in the job market.

Both school districts have seen an increase in vacancies in departments such as special education, transportation, custodial and child nutrition since the start of the 2021-22 school year.

As of Nov. 3, Carroll ISD has more than 40 total job openings, according to the district’s job portal. Grapevine-Colleyville ISD has 90 auxiliary and paraprofessional positions vacancies, according to Kristin Snively, executive director of communications for GCISD.

“We always run a little short in some of those support positions, but not to this level,” said Gordon Butler, Carroll ISD assistant superintendent of staff and student services.

Administrators in CISD and GCISD said public school districts are competing for employees in both the private and public sectors—a trend that is also seen nationwide, according to Steven Poole, executive director of United Educators Association, a local association for educational employees in North Texas.

“[School districts are] having to compete not only with other school districts, but with the private sector. And with private companies upping their pay and benefits for those kinds of employees, it's awfully attractive to leave a school district and go work somewhere else,” Poole said.

To compete, the CISD and GCISD boards of trustees have approved pay raises for support staff.

On Sept. 27, Carroll ISD trustees approved additional compensation for their paraprofessional and auxiliary staff. Grapevine-Colleyville ISD trustees also approved a pay increase between 6.1% and 12.5% for auxiliary and instructional positions on Oct. 25.

“Our [staff] shortages are impacting our campuses and our district locations on how we serve children,” said Gema Padgett, GCISD executive director of human resources, at the Oct. 25 meeting. “Our hourly pay is the lowest in our surrounding areas.”

According to the Texas Education Agency, the average salary for support staff during the 2020-21 school year in GCISD was $71,467 and $29,002 for auxiliary staff. In CISD, the average salary for support staff was $73,563 and $31,028 for auxiliary staff.

Support staff includes roles such as guidance counselors, nurses and special education aides while auxiliary staff includes bus drivers, custodians and cafeteria staff.

Attractive benefits—such as health and dental insurance—have encouraged staff to also seek employment elsewhere, Poole said.

“The health insurance most school districts offer through the [Teacher Retirement System]—that is unaffordable for most of them,” he said. “So, if you're trying to cover your family for health insurance working for a school district, it's almost impossible. So if you're going to a private company that's paying for your health insurance ... man, that makes a world of difference there, too.”

The shortage of support staff has forced the districts to find alternative ways—beyond additional compensation and benefits—to provide services to students while continuing to fill vacancies. In Carroll ISD, administrators and coaches with a commercial driver's license are driving buses to shuttle students to and from campus and events.

“For example, on the transportation side, to get a CDL right now, it's about a two-month process to get into [the Department of Public Safety]—and so our hope is to be able to get drivers that already have their CDL from other districts to come and work in Carroll [ISD],” Butler said.

Butler also mentioned developments in COVID-19 vaccines for younger children will help ease health and safety concerns in elementary schools, not only in Carroll ISD but across public schools.

Pzifer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11 is now available.

“The hope that I think we all have, and not just Carroll but all districts, is that as that vaccine becomes available for younger students, that we will get more people to apply and take those jobs that impact our elementary schools,” Butler said.
By Sandra Sadek
Sandra Sadek covers the cities of Grapevine, Southlake and Roanoke as well as Carroll ISD for Community Impact. She graduated from Texas State University where she majored in journalism and international relations. She has experience working for several local papers including the University Star, the Katy Times, and the Fort Stockton Pioneer. When she's not on the ground reporting, she enjoys a good book and a hot drink. Follow her on social media @ssadek19.


street sign intersection
Amended Grapevine ordinance prohibits parking on portions of Franklin Street

As part of an amendment to Grapevine's ordinance, visitors will no longer be allowed to park on the north side of East Franklin Street.

Potential Earth and Roots CBD storefront
Colleyville City Council to consider special-use permit for CBD store

At its Dec. 7 meeting, the Colleyville City Council discussed whether to grant a special-use permit to a CBD store looking to open in Colleyville.

HTeaO opened a location just outside of Richardson on Oct. 15. (William C. Wadsack/Community Impact Newspaper)
HTeaO continues North Texas expansion with soon-to-open Southlake location

HTeaO is known for its variety of iced teas sold in a drive-thru store.

Tewbeleaux's Cajun Grill opened in Northwest Austin on Nov. 2. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Tewbeleaux's Cajun Grill opens first Central Texas location in Northwest Austin; House of Pies opens in Cypress and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 8.

Southlake Mayor John Huffman listens to a presentation on Carillon Parc from developer John Terrell on Dec. 7. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)
‘Legacy project’: Updated Carillon Parc plan given green light in Southlake, to break ground in 2022

After several delays and plan changes, Carillon Parc's slated groundbreaking is set for summer 2022.

Three women board TEXRail—a commuter train that runs between Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and Fort Worth—from the Grapevine Main Station on Nov. 9, 2021.  (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)
Grapevine, TEXRail transit plans set the stage for future growth

Despite reduced ridership over the last 18 months, officials remain optimistic about the commuter train’s ability to bounce back from the pandemic.

Classy Missy is now open across from Rainforest Cafe inside Grapevine Mills mall. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)
Women's ethnic wear store Classy Missy now open inside Grapevine Mills

Classy Missy sells varied selection of ethnic clothing and jewelry items, including bridal lehengas and sarees.

DotDotBang is now open inside Grapevine Mills. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)
Pop culture, kawaii store DotDotBang now open inside Grapevine Mills

Frisco's DotDotBang opened a new location inside Grapevine Mills mall in November.

The Gringo's location in Katy is pictured. A new Conroe location is planned for late 2022. (Courtesy NewQuest Properties)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Gringo's restaurant confirmed for Conroe Waterfront Center; Austin’s longest-standing H-E-B to be rebuilt and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 7.

man at board meeting
Carroll ISD staff to receive one-time supplemental pay before end of year

Carroll ISD trustees are moving forward with an hourly-based one-time supplemental payment to address staff retention.

Bill Curci is a chief operating partner for Shuck Me, a seafood restaurant in Southlake. (Bailey Lewis/Community Impact Newspaper)
Despite unique name, Southlake seafood restaurant Shuck Me is fishing- and family-centric

Chief operating partner Bill Curci said what sets Shuck Me apart from other seafood restaurants is its authenticity.