Humble ISD trustees are moving forward with what will effectively equate to a 2% on-average raise for staff members as well as additional stipends for eligible employees.

The overview

The staff raises were approved by trustees during the board’s June 11 meeting as part of a roughly $651 million budget for fiscal year 2024-25.

HISD Chief Financial Officer Billy Beattie said the compensation package includes 1% on-average raises and a one-time stipend worth 1% of salaries for all employees.

Beattie noted the compensation package will equate to a 2% on-average raise for all returning staff members, which would effectively raise a starting teacher’s salary in the district from $63,700 in FY 2023-24 to $64,987 in FY 2024-25. Without the stipend, Beattie noted the 1% pay increase would raise a starting teacher’s salary in the district to $64,350 in FY 2024-25.

Additionally, Beattie said officials are recommending no increases to health insurance premiums offered through the district’s self-funded insurance program.

By comparison, insurance premiums offered through the Teacher Retirement System of Texas—which are typically offered to state public education employees—are projected to rise by 9% next year, Beattie said.

A closer look

Beattie pointed to several factors officials have had to consider while drafting next year’s budget, including:
  • The loss of federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds
  • An approximate 3% reduction in attendance resulting in a roughly $12.5 million funding decrease
  • An approximate $10.6 million increase in operational costs due to inflation
Beattie noted officials are projecting a tax rate of $1.1055 per $100 valuation for FY 2024-25, down from last year’s rate of $1.1075 per $100 valuation.

According to the FY 2024-25 budget, HISD will take in roughly $636 million in revenue while spending around $651 million, resulting in an approximately $15 million budget shortfall.

However, Beattie said the projected shortfall is a result of plans to complete several previously planned food services initiatives that officials have been unable to take on over the last few years.

Budget documents show the district is planning to spend roughly $36.2 million on various food services projects.

Jonathan Frey, HISD assistant director of public communications, said the bulk of the projects consist of replacing and upgrading serving lines at multiple campuses as well as enhancing equipment to introduce new scratch-prepared menu options.

Additionally, Frey said the additional funding will extend some food service employees’ workdays and will include the cost of new uniforms. Smaller initiatives will include replacing ice machines, dishwashers and cafeteria tables, he said.
Also of note

Several adjustments were also made to the district’s compensation plan, including:
  • Raising the pay for bus aides, child nutrition specialists and custodians to $12.63 per hour
  • Raising the pay for special education paraprofessionals to $15 per hour
  • Raising the pay for bus drivers to $20 per hour
Officials noted additional changes to the compensation package could be suggested if state lawmakers approve more funding for public schools during the next legislative session, which starts in January.

What’s next

Trustees will considering formally adopting the district’s tax rate for FY 2024-25 in September.