All Klein ISD employees can look forward to receiving pay raises in the 2021-22 school year following the KISD board of trustees' unanimous approval of a $494.5 million budget June 14.

"In 2019, we gave a historic compensation package. In 2020, employees received COVID-19 Klein family loyalty payments and a 2% increase," KISD Chief Financial Officer Dan Schaefer said in a statement. "This year, as a result of active fiscal management of the district, we are able to carry out our planned budget and provide another year of raises in addition to an additional COVID-19 Klein family loyalty payment to retain and recruit top talent to Klein ISD."

According to a district news release, in the 2021-22 school year all KISD employees will receive a 2.5% pay increase of the control point; the district's starting teacher salary will increase from $56,500 to $57,800; and returning teachers will see a salary increase of $1,550.

Additionally, all returning full-time, benefit-eligible employees will receive a one-time $1,000 stipend, while returning benefit-eligible employees who are working less than full time will receive a one-time stipend of $500.

"Our Klein family is made up of remarkable people who are dedicated to the success of every student, and we're pleased to continue offering competitive compensation in our district," KISD Superintendent Jenny McGown said in a statement. "I'm so grateful to our supportive board of trustees for recognizing our Klein family by approving this competitive compensation plan."

KISD Board President Chris Todd noted he was particularly proud of the compensation changes included in the district's 2021-22 budget following more than a year of challenges presented by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

"The board is honored to show our support and appreciation for our outstanding Klein employees by approving a competitive compensation package," Todd said in a statement. "We are so grateful for their continued commitment to the students of Klein ISD."

As previously reported by Community Impact Newspaper, last year the KISD board of trustees adopted its lowest tax rate in a decade, dropping the rate from $1.36 per $100 valuation to $1.34 per $100 valuation. According to the release, the 2021-22 budget proposes further reducing the tax rate to $1.30 per $100 valuation; however, a final tax rate will not be determined until certified property values are determined by the Harris County Appraisal District later this summer.