During the board’s May 24 meeting, HISD Chief Financial Officer Billy Beattie said the 4% increase, which will raise a starting teachers’ salary from $59,000 to $61,500, was necessary to keep HISD competitive with nearby school districts.
In April, HISD officials suggested a 3% raise for all employees. Beattie said the bump up to 4% was made to avoid potential shortages in teaching staff in the 2022-23 school year.
“The 4% model helps us remain competitive [with nearby districts and] even gain a little ground,” Beattie said. “In a year where we feel like it may be more difficult to hire, we want to be able to remain competitive.”
Beattie also noted the compensation plan includes no rate increase to the district’s alternative health insurance plan. HISD previously opted out of providing insurance through the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, known as TRS-ActiveCare.
According to Trustee Robert Sitton, the district’s ability to avoid an insurance rate increase effectively provides an additional pay increase for staff.
“Every 3% raise we gave in the past was eaten up by TRS[-Active] Care premiums going up 2-3% every year,” Sitton said. “The fact that we now have our own Humble ISD Alternative Health Plan, plus the raise with no increase in their premiums, is a true pay increase.”
Additionally, Beattie said the 2022-23 compensation plan will increase substitute teachers’ pay rate by $40 per day. Board members approved a temporary pay increase of $40 per day for substitute teachers during the 2021-22 school year, though Beattie said the approved plan will make that increase permanent.
HISD Superintendent Elizabeth Fagen said the aim of the increased substitute teacher pay rate is to help keep staff members from having to cover additional classrooms.
“It's really important to our teachers that they have planning time that they can depend on, so when it gets pulled away because they have to cover [other teacher’s classrooms] ... it really makes a difference in the quality of their life,” Fagen said. “We really believe that the investment in our substitutes and making sure that our guest teachers are far and away the best compensated in the area is actually a benefit to our classroom teachers.”
Officials noted the 2022-23 compensation plan was approved ahead of the district’s fiscal year 2022-23 budget to give officials concrete compensation numbers as the district begins hiring staff members for the 2022-23 school year. Trustees will consider the district's proposed FY 2022-23 budget for approval at the June 21 meeting.