Trustees in Richardson ISD approved a minimum 2% pay raise for eligible employees as part of the district’s 2021-22 school year budget, which was adopted during the board's June 14 meeting.

That raise will be increased by 0.25% for every five years of service full-time teachers, librarians, counselors, nurses and staff have completed, up to 3%. The approximate cost for the pay raise is just over $6.5 million, Chief Financial Officer David Pate said.

Staff is projecting the upcoming year’s expenditures will total $382.1 million, a little more than a 1% decrease from the 2020-21 budget. General fund revenue is projected to decrease by less than 1% to $376.1 million.

The general fund also includes a $1,500 retention stipend for certain full-time, returning employees who meet requirements outlined in the budget. The district’s approximate cost for that stipend is more than $8.5 million, Pate said.

The district is also planning to offer a $1,000 stipend for new hires that will be paid out in September. That will be in addition to the new $55,000 starting salary for teachers. Pate said the district's approximate cost for that stipend and the new starting salary is $700,000.

Staff is projecting revenue will total $18.6 million in the child nutrition fund and $90.5 million in the debt service fund.

“This debt service fund budget for 2021-22 does include principal and interest payments on our first sale out of the May 2021 bond election,” Pate said.

Pate also presented an estimated maintenance and operations tax rate of $1.0517, which is lower than the current rate of $1.0547. The general fund budget for 2021-22 is based on an estimated 1.5% property value increase for the district, he said.

“The tax rate cannot be more than $1.0517, based on current information from the [Texas Education Agency],” Pate said. “It could possibly go down, depending on property value growth, but it, again, will not be more than $1.0517.”

Prior to the vote, a public hearing was held on the budget, but no one came forward to speak.

Board President Karen Clardy said the district has been working on the budget since last fall, and staff have been briefing the board for months.

“I am just pleased with this budget,” Clardy said. “I think it's conservative enough, but it's also innovative enough that we're going to really be able to do some great things.”