Conroe ISD board of trustees approve 3.5% raise for teachers, nurses, counselors and librarians

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Some employees at Conroe ISD could see a 3%-3.5% raise in their paychecks for the 2019-20 school year.

The CISD board of trustees unanimously approved a 3.5% raise for teachers, nurses, counselors and librarians for the 2019-2020 school year at its June 19 meeting. Although the board approved the recommendation, it will still need to finalize the raises when it approves the 2019-20 budget.

The raises, detailed in a presentation by Chief Financial Officer Darren Rice, are in response to House Bill 3, signed by Gov. Greg Abbott June 11. HB3 gives $11.6 billion to Texas school districts and specifies districts must use 30% of their increased funding to provide salary increases. The bill also specifies 75% of the salary increases must go to teachers, nurses, counselors and librarians.

Rice’s recommendation would see this group in CISD receive $8.1 million, as well as a $200 stipend for teachers with six or more years of experience. Administrators would receive 3% increases, and all other employees would receive 3.5%. The board increased the stipend to $500.

That means a teacher with 10 years of experience making the 2018-2019 hire salary of $56,570 would receive a total of $2,500 in a raise for the 2019-2020 school year. Rice said these raises are conservative and still flexible.

“I think within what we’re presenting here tonight, we are covered,” Rice said.

Rice said the raises leave the district with approximately $6.54 million in available funds for the following school year.

Trustee John Husbands raised several concerns about the raises. Mirroring his comments from a June 4 special workshop, he said he was concerned about the sustainability of the raises.

“I don’t want a deficit budget because we didn’t think something would work out, and on the other hand… I don’t want to give a raise that’s not appropriate for the market place,” Husbands said.

Trustee Scott Kidd was more optimistic. He said Rice’s presentation seemed safe for the district.

“I know things have changed, but just to reiterate kind of what you’re saying, we play it conservative and kind of play it steady and that’s what you’re recommending,” Kidd said.

Despite his hesitancy about the raises, Husbands was the trustee who suggested increasing the stipend from $200 to $500.

“I think all teachers work hard. I hope they’re working hard, but the ones I know are,” Husbands said.

The board also left an opening for a one-time retention pay, pending board approval.

School mascots, quick approvals and state awards

In other news June 18, the board approved the school mascot and colors for Stockton Junior High School, set to open for the 2020-21 school year. The mascot will be the Stallions and the colors will be maroon and grey.

The board approved its consent agenda, which included a budget amendment to recognize donations from Ford Elementary, Giesinger Elementary and Oak Ridge Elementary, approving an agreement with canine detection services, adopting the San Jacinto River Authority’s water conservation plan for Moorhead/Caney Creek water plant.

The board also recognized two state champions from The Woodlands High School: Agustin Perez, who won the 2019 State Citizen Bee Championship, and Patrick Piperi, who won the 2019 University Interscholastic League Class 6A Boys’ Shot Put State Championship.

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Andy Li
Originally from Boone, North Carolina, Andy Li is a graduate of East Carolina University with degrees in Communication with a concentration in journalism and Political Science. While in school, he worked as a performing arts reporter, news, arts and copy editor and a columnist at the campus newspaper, The East Carolinian. He also had the privilege to work with NPR’s Next Generation Radio, a project for student journalists exploring radio news. Moving to Houston in May 2019, he now covers the Conroe Independent School District, Montgomery City Council and transportation.
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