Clear Creek ISD’s board of trustees will convene July 26 to discuss two budget-related items: scheduling a public hearing for the discussion of the fiscal year 2021-22 budget and proposed tax rate and voting on the proposed 2021-22 staff benefits and compensation plan.
The district is ending FY 2020-21 with about a $2.1 million deficit as of early July, per district documents presented at a July 12 board workshop. Next year’s budget will not have much wiggle room, said Alice Benzaia, CCISD director of business services and financial planning, said at the workshop, but district leaders are optimistic about CCISD’s financial health nonetheless.
“We think the picture’s a lot better for this current budget year than we had anticipated,” Benzaia said July 12.
The proposed benefits and compensation plan includes a 3% salary increase for all employees. Approximately $6.5 million in federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds will be reclassified as expenditures to fund the increase for FY 2021-22, per the district documents. The increase is expected to cost $9 million in total.
District leaders spoke at the workshop about intentional efforts to ensure staff receive competitive salaries, stipends and benefits and how this has resulted in an experienced cohort. With the proposed package, teachers with 10, 15 and 20 years of experience are projected to earn at least $1,000 more than the market median annual salary at CCISD next fiscal year.
Employees paid on an experience-based step salary schedule, including teachers, nurses, librarians, interventionists and instructional coaches, would receive pay increases at slightly higher rates during their first years under the proposed package. With a step salary plan, annual pay increases by a uniform percentage based on experience; the proposed package bumps the step for up to five years from approximately 7.1% to 8.4%.
“In some very difficult areas there’s a high level of experience, which is appreciated,” board Secretary Laura DuPont said July 12, observing the challenges some districts face retaining newer teachers and other step-salary employees.
The budget public hearing is being proposed for Aug. 23 at 6 p.m. The proposed tax rate, per board meeting documents, is $0.92 per $100 valuation for maintenance and operations and $0.31 per $100 valuation for interest and sinking. This $1.23 per $100 valuation combined tax rate is several cents lower than the current rate of $1.2659, district officials said July 12.
The July 26 agenda and supporting documents can be viewed in full here. Click here to read more about CCISD’s plans for ESSER funding.