RISD teachers, homeowners to benefit from adopted school year 2019-20 budget

The upcoming school year budget includes increased salary for teachers and a tax cut for families.

The upcoming school year budget includes increased salary for teachers and a tax cut for families.

Richardson ISD teachers are getting a raise, and homeowners could be getting a tax cut in the upcoming school year.

Adopted June 17, the district’s 2019-20 school year budget totals $467.9 million. Staff members across the board will receive raises between 3.5% and 5%, depending on position and tenure.

The bump for teachers and staff is in part due to House Bill 3, the landmark school finance reform bill signed into law June 11 by Gov. Greg Abbott.

The law requires that school districts funnel at least 30% of the state’s funding increase toward raises for employees other than administrators, Chief Financial Officer David Pate said at the June meeting. It also requires three-quarters of that 30% be allocated specifically toward compensation increases for teachers, librarians, counselors and nurses.

But some residents said the district is not doing enough. Euan Blackman, a member of the RISD community, criticized administrators for not giving as big a raise as other districts.

“We should give teachers the pay raise that they deserve,” he said. “The state was explicit that they wanted to give teachers the maximum benefit.”

According to RISD, the teacher compensation increases are more than 4.5 times the state-required amount.

Trustee Kim Caston said the budget is intentionally conservative because of some unanswered questions regarding the sustainability of statewide school funding mandates included in HB 3.

“While HB 3 provides additional revenue for us, there are questions that linger and are very much in the forefront of how is the state going to pay for the gains we have all gotten going forward?” she said. “That’s a big question mark.”

Caston also pointed out that RISD is not only focused on retaining teachers but also on attracting new ones, resulting in an increase of the new teacher starting salary by 3.3% to $54,000 in school year 2019-20.

“You have to look at compensation holistically,” she said. “We might be a little bit conservative this year as it ensures sustainability and allows flexibility going forward.”

Homeowners also stand to benefit from this year’s budget changes. The property tax reform bill means the district can reduce its reliance on local tax revenue to support its general fund.

As a result, the district is proposing reducing its operating tax rate from $1.17 to $1.0684 per $100 valuation. This will provide an annual savings of about $157 for the average RISD homeowner, Pate said.

Trustees are expected to vote on the proposed 2019-20 tax rate at their Aug. 19 meeting.

By Olivia Lueckemeyer
Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.


Dr. Molly Lopez is the director of the Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health and also serves as a research associate professor at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin. (Designed by Stephanie Torres/Community Impact Newspaper)
Q&A: Mental health expert talks emotional well-being, building resiliency for the 2020-21 school year

According to Dr. Molly Lopez, director of the Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health, the upcoming school year will serve as an opportunity for students, families, teachers and school administrators to learn skills in coping, re-evaulate mental health protocols and build resiliency in challenging times.

Jules Design Bar
TABC change opens window for some bars to qualify as restaurants under state pandemic orders

Following a new industry guideline recently distributed by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, more bars across the state may soon be able to qualify as restaurants.

Rocco's Italian Cafe is expected to open Sept. 1. (Courtesy Canva)
Rocco's Italian Cafe coming soon to Richardson

The restaurant's menu includes pizza, pasta and wings.

Here are the latest real estate trends in Lewisville, Flower Mound and Highland Village. (Community Impact Staff)
Real estate trends in Lewisville, Flower Mound and Highland Village plus other top news from DFW

Read the most popular Dallas-Fort Worth-area news from the past week.

Dallas County attempts to improve positivity rate by expanding free COVID-19 testing to teachers, other essential workers

The number of residents testing positive for the virus is growing even as the number of tests decline by 40%.

Volunteers at Network helped stock shelves at its food pantry in October 2019. (Olivia Lueckemeyer/Community Impact Newspaper)
Network of Community Ministries expands food, job search services amid economic fallout of the coronavirus

In the past four months, Network has given out 1.3 million pounds of food, which is nearly double the amount distributed in fiscal year 2018-19.

The aging room is being prepared for business at the new downtown butcher shop. (Courtesy Bar-Ranch Steak Co.)
Bar-Ranch Steak Co. preps for downtown Plano opening and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The business will continue to serve the same menu and drinks under its new name. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Richardson restaurant Frankie's Mexican Cuisine changes name to Dos Arroyos

The business will continue to serve the same menu and drinks under its new name.

City Manager Dan Johnson briefed City Council on the proposed budget and tax rate at a Aug. 10 meeting. (Courtesy Citizens Information Television)
Richardson proposes unchanged tax rate despite projected $6M loss in operating revenue

This loss is due in part to a dip in citywide property valuations. By keeping the tax rate the same and applying it to a lower taxable value, the city will collect less property tax revenue in fiscal year 2020-21.

(Courtesy AMC Theatres)
AMC Theatres to reopen Aug. 20 with 15-cent tickets

AMC Theatres—which has multiple locations in the Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston areas—will begin reopening its movie screens Aug. 20.

According to the report, 380,174 total COVID-19 cases have been reported in children nationwide as of Aug. 6, which accounts for approximately 9.1% of all confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
REPORT: COVID-19 cases in children increase by 90% nationwide in 1 month

As school district officials across the U.S. prepare for the start of the 2020-21 school year, 179,990 new COVID-19 cases were reported in children nationwide between July 9 and Aug. 6—an increase of 90%, according to a report compiled by The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association.

The University of Texas will host football games at Darrell K. Royal Veterans Memorial Stadium this fall after an announcement from the Big 12 Conference on Aug. 12 that the fall sports season will continue. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
After Big Ten and PAC-12 cancel, Big 12 announces fall sports season will roll on

The conference football season will begin Sept. 26, and fan capacity in stadiums will be up to each of the 10 member universities, according to the Big 12.