The Carroll ISD board of trustees approved additional pay increases for paraprofessional and auxiliary staff at an April 29 meeting.

Auxiliary staff positions include transportation, child nutrition, custodial services maintenance and other similar roles, Assistant

Superintendent for Administration Tamy Smalskas said. Paraprofessionals provide instructional support in a range of tasks from assisting teachers to tutoring to translating and organizing classrooms.

The pay grade adjustments will impact around 300 employees districtwide in the 2024-25 school year.

“I completely support the increases, and I wish we could do a lot more than this. I know that we are constrained in many ways with budgets,” trustee Eric Lannon said.

The fiscal year 2023-24 budget shortfall is nearly $5.2 million, according to district documents. This could increase over the next four years, culminating in an almost $15.5 million shortfall by FY 2026-27.

The backstory

The decision comes on the heels of a 3% midpoint raise for all staff approved in March, which stems from a Texans for Excellence in Education study that found many CISD salaries were below market average, Smalskas said. The organization is a nonprofit that seeks to provide guidance to public schools.

The details

A midpoint salary is the middle point in a salary range of a particular pay grade usually between the highest and lowest salaries. Within CISD, teachers, administration and clerical staff are all at different pay grades.

The district’s goal with the initial raise was to bring the average salaries in each pay grade to 95% of the market average, but even with the raise there are some positions that would not reach that level, Smalskas said.

The recent pay increase would bring those positions within the targeted range and add $19,000 to the $2.1 million cost for the previously approved raises, according to district documents.

Also of note

A large portion of the cost could be offset with savings from adjusting the student-teacher ratios and the earnings from the district’s new stadium sponsor, Smalskas said. The district could allocate $1.6 million and $98,150 from each respectively for FY 2024-25.

Between the two pay adjustments, the starting teacher salary will go from $58,400 to $62,000, and annual salaries for all other pay grades are increasing by $1,926, Smalskas said.