The Spring ISD board of trustees at their June 22 special-called meeting approved a $433.6 million operating budget for the 2021-22 school year that includes more than $6 million in staff pay increases and equity adjustments.

The adopted budget includes a 2% salary increase for staff members based on the control point, or the midpoint salary, of each position. Under the new budget, the starting salary for a district teacher will be roughly $57,500 annually.

SISD Superintendent Rodney Watson stated in a June 23 news release that the pay increases were aimed at making SISD more competitive among neighboring districts.

“I want to thank our trustees for their continued leadership and commitment to supporting our staff in a tough budget environment,” Watson said in a statement. “Our goal with compensation is to always ensure we are in a position to recruit and retain talent across the district.”

Officials noted SISD teachers would see an average pay increase of $1,225 for the 2021-22 school year.

According to SISD Chief Financial Officer Ann Westbrooks, the 2021-22 budget will be operating on a roughly $19.9 million deficit, which she attributed to challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and declining student enrollment. That deficit, however, will be offset by funding received through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

District officials also touched on the proposed tax rate for the 2021-22 school year, which is currently proposed at $1.34 per $100 valuation—$0.04 lower than the current tax rate included in the 2020-21 budget.

Officials noted the resulting tax bill for a home valued at $200,000 would come out to $2,680 for the homeowner, should the proposed tax rate be adopted later this year.