Superintendents are required to present an employee compensation plan as part of the budget development process, school officials said. The budget will need to be adopted at the end of June, and based on preliminary estimates, the district could face a $2.8 million budget deficit next fiscal year.
At the May 19 board meeting, trustees convened in person—following weeks of virtual meetings—to discuss hiring schedules and compensation plans.
“This is the first time in eight years as your superintendent I’m bringing you a compensation plan that includes no raises for any employees,” said Superintendent Beau Rees, who will be leaving the district as Weatherford ISD’s new superintendent.
Trustee Matt Fuller said he hopes the board will consider increasing the teacher hiring schedule beyond 22 years of experience. The district currently outlines maximum hiring salaries based off years of experience, from 0-1 years—with a maximum salary of $51,000—to 22 years, with a maximum salary of $60,443.
“We’re starting to see a lot of people moving to other districts, I think, for that money,” Fuller said.
Rees said the 22-year limit can be a challenge to attracting and recruiting teachers who have more than 22 years of experience.
“That becomes a sticking point when they say, ‘OK where I’m coming in on the scale is step 20 on the hiring schedule, and that’s not as much as I was making,’” Rees said. “So that’s something that could be extended.”
MISD President Jim Dossey said the compensation schedule can be considered a strategic decision.
“Who are you trying to attract?” he said. “Do we want to attract a 30-year teacher, or do we want to attract a teacher that’s seven or 10 years [tenured] ... [and] in their prime?”
In the last eight years, MISD's typical hire has been between four and 10 years, Rees said.
The board turned to district Chief Financial Officer Kris Lynn on whether to approve the item or table it. Lynn said from a financial standpoint, it would be prudent to have more budget conversations before approving the item.
“The compensation plan is one of most important decisions you can make for the upcoming school year, because that’s what [the district] is going to use to attract talent and help to retain talent,” Lynn said. “Financially it would not hurt you to wait until we get to the budget and have a little more conversations.”
The board voted to table the item.