Editor's note: This story was updated to clarify that all employees will receive a 2.5% pay raise.

The Conroe ISD board of trustees unanimously approved a 2.5% employee pay raise during a Nov. 14 regular board meeting.

How it happened

Chief Financial Officer Darrin Rice presented the board with several raise and retention stipend scenarios to increase employee compensation.

The board approved the 2.5% raise out of several options that included both smaller raises and retention stipends. The approved scenario will result in employees seeing:
  • A 2.5% raise on districtwide midpoint salaries for all employees
  • An annual teacher salary increase of $1,600
  • Starting teacher pay of $61,600
Raises will be retroactive to the beginning of the employee's contract start date and will apply to the 2023-24 school year and 2024-25 school year.

"We're at the point where we need to give the teachers something, show some essence of goodwill," board member Datren Williams said. "I think 2.5% is what we can afford, as much as we can afford."

​​​​​Cost to the district

Rice said the estimated cost to the district is $14.6 million per school year. According to district officials, the funds for raises are coming from the district's savings account.

CISD Superintendent Curtis Null said the funds come from a resolution that the board passed in January.

The resolution stated that if the 2023 bond passed, the $30 million taken from the district's savings account for land purchases would be returned to its savings account from the designated land funds in the bond package, making the funds available for employee compensation.

Voters approved the 1.8B bond package Nov. 7.

However, Rice said without legislative action, approval of the raises will result in a budget shortfall.
  • With the raise approved for 2023-24, there will be no funding for increasing employee compensation again in 2024-25.
  • If no action is taken by the Legislature by the 89th session, Rice said the district will have to look at cutting about $15 million worth of positions to have a balanced budget for fiscal year 2025-26.
"We've had a lot of debates on this back and forth," Null said. "There is risk involved in giving a raise. We believe that is a risk we have to take at this point. We need to take care of our people."

A quick note

The 88th Texas Legislature did not provide funds for teacher raises during the normal session. However, the Legislature is in its fourth special session, which began Nov. 7. The agenda includes funding for employee raises among other education-related topics.