Teacher raises and more: A roundup of education news from Northwest Austin

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Pflugerville’s historic Rock Gym among district facilities projects given green light by trustees

The consolidation of Pflugerville ISD’s Windermere Primary and Elementary campus is moving into its second phase of development at a maximum price tag of $3.7 million.

The project is one of several that were progressed by PfISD trustees May 16.

Trustees approved the guaranteed maximum price for the Windermere consolidation plan. Costs for the school construction can come from the school’s voter-approved 2018 bond funds.

The board additionally approved preliminary plans to renovate the district’s historic Rock Gym with acoustic treatments and audio upgrades, a move the district hopes will allow the venue to diversify its programming options. No specific funding dollars have yet been approved for the project.

In late May, the district expects to send out bids to add two new tennis courts to Connally High School.

Trustees additionally approved renovations for accommodations for the PfISD Police Department and nursing staff at the Pflugerville Academic Center of Excellence. David Vesling, executive director of Facilities & Support Services for PfISD, said the majority of funds related to this project will go to improvements for the police department.

Staff, teachers to see 3.5% raise in 2019-20

The Round Rock ISD board of trustees voted May 16 to increase teacher, campus and district staff salaries by 3.5% across the board for the upcoming school year.

The compensation increases will cost RRISD $14.2 million in 2019-20, according to a district news release.

Teachers, librarians and nurses will receive a pay raise of $1,800 with adjustments to compensate years served, while counselors and other licensed professionals in the districts are set to receive a $2,212 general pay increase.

Other employees will see an increase equal to 3.5% of the pay range midpoint in compensation.

District, union at odds over proposed raises

The school district and Education Austin, AISD’s teachers’ and employees’ union, have clashed over how much of a salary increase district employees should receive next year.

On May 20, over 124 AISD staff members rallied at district headquarters, demanding a 10% raise for all district employees. Union President Ken Zarifis led the crowd of teachers, bus drivers, librarians and contracted staff in chants of “we are worth it” and “words don’t pay the rent.”

AISD reported at a May 6 board of trustees workshop that 1%-2% raises were being considered, and negotiations were continuing.

College to add second bachelor’s program

Next year, Austin Community College will begin its second bachelor’s degree program with a goal of helping members of the local workforce advance their careers.

The Bachelor of Applied Science program in computer information technology will have three specializations when the program begins at ACC in the spring semester of 2020: software development, cybersecurity and data science. ACC’s board of trustees approved the program unanimously May 6.

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Iain Oldman
Iain Oldman joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 after spending two years in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he covered Pittsburgh City Council. His byline has appeared in PublicSource, WESA-FM and Scranton-Times Tribune. Iain worked as the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's flagship Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition and is now working as the reporter for Northwest Austin.
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