All qualifying Plano ISD employees will receive a pay increase for the 2022-23 school year as well as a retention stipend following approval of the employee compensation package by the district's board of trustees during its May 17 meeting.

The board voted to give a 4% pay raise on the control rate for teachers, librarians and nurses and a 3% increase on the control rate all other employees. Existing and new employees will also receive a retention/new hire stipend after the beginning of the next school year as part of the package. Teachers will receive a $1,000 stipend while all other employees will receive $500. The compensation package was approved by the board unanimously, although board Secretary Jeri Chambers was absent from the meeting.

Assistant Superintendent Beth Brockman said those pay rate increases will make PISD's starting salary $58,250 for teachers with a bachelor's degree and no prior experience, and $60,250 for those with a master's degree and no experience.

"We feel that everyone deserves a compensation increase in this district—every single employee is valuable," Brockman said.

The district is also increasing its contribution for employee health insurance from $300 per month to $315 per month, she said.

"This [contribution increase] coupled with the fact that the vast majority of our employees who are served in our benefits programs will see a reduction in their [Teacher Retirement System of Texas] ActiveCare rates for next year anyway, [means] we really feel this will be very helpful for our employees that access those insurance benefits," Brockman said.

As part of the compensation package, the district is also increasing the pay structures for district mechanics, cafeteria specialists and cashiers, and special education paraprofessionals.

"As we all know, everyone has a help wanted sign out right now, and we need to be competitive with not only school districts in our area, but other employers in not only Plano, but our surrounding areas," Brockman said. "We believe this will help dramatically."

Increased stipends of $4,000 for bilingual certified teachers and $3,000 for structured special education teachers were also approved as part of the package.

"The work that departments have done to scrub their budgets [has been extensive] ... so that we can find dollars to allocate to where it matters the most, and that's with our staff," said Deputy Superintendent Theresa Williams, who takes over as the district's new superintendent next month. "I appreciate all the hard work, the many hours that the team spent getting creative and just keeping to try to make sure that our teachers feel cared for and valued because that's how we feel about them."

Editor's note: This article has been updated to clarify that employee raises will be on the district's control rate.