Spring ISD trustees adopted pay raises of 5.3%-5.7% for current teachers, depending on their tenure with the district, as well as average raises of 11% for paraprofessionals for the upcoming school year, according to a May 17 news release.

SISD will offer new teachers a starting annual salary of $60,500 while current teachers with less than five years, five to 15 years and 12-15 years of experience will receive raises of 5.3%, 5.5% and 5.7%, respectively, according to SISD’s news release. The new hourly minimum wages for paraprofessionals and classified employees will be $13.50 and $12, respectively.

“The SISD board of trustees recognizes the value of education and knows that our teachers and school staff are the key to developing future generations of leaders,” SISD board President Justine Durant said in a statement.

Classified employees will receive an average raise of 7% in the 2022-23 school year while all other SISD employees will receive a 2% raise.

On May 10, trustees also improved a retention and hiring incentive package for all district employees.

“As we look to attract and retain top candidates who can provide our students with an excellent education, our goal is to be strategic in ensuring that all Spring ISD employees, both new and existing, earn a competitive salary,” Superintendent Lupita Hinojosa said in a statement.

Budget talks continue

SISD leaders received the district’s first property value estimates—which will be used to determine the district’s tax rate and budget—from the central appraisal district, SISD Chief Financial Officer Ann Westbrooks told trustees May 10. According to the estimate, SISD’s values increased by 14.54% compared to the previous fiscal year.

“We have seen increases, but it's been a while since we've seen those double-digit increases,” Durant said May 10. “This is almost 15%. So that's a good thing.”

With the current property value estimate, the district’s total tax rate would fall by almost $0.05 compared to the current tax rate of $1.3128 per $100 valuation, Westbrooks said. The total tax rate would be $1.2646 per $100 valuation while the maintenance and operations rate would be $0.8546 and the interest and sinking rate would be $0.41.

SISD will receive more property value estimates in July and in August before trustees ultimately consider setting the tax rate in October, Westbrooks said. Trustees will consider adopting the district’s 2022-23 budget in June.

“Typically, we don't see much of a change between that first estimate and the certified values,” Westbrooks said. “Last year threw us a little bit for loop; it did increase a little bit more between the April [value] and the July [value].”

Enrollment has been dropping for the district since the 2019-20 school year. SISD trustees began discussing the fiscal year 2022-23 budget in March when district officials said they were planning to cut department budgets by 5% compared to FY 2021-22. Campus budgets are expected to remain intact.