When Fort Bend ISD is back in session Aug. 14, teachers and librarians will receive a raise of $2,500-$3,500 for the school year, depending on experience.

“We feel it is necessary to compete with those neighboring districts, such as Spring Branch, Pasadena, Aldine and Alief,” FBISD Executive Director of Finance Bryan Guinn told the board at its June 10 meeting. “If we can’t match those, we will likely see losses of teachers to those districts.”

The district will spend $24.7 million in compensation for the 2019-20 school year—the result of the 86th Texas Legislature passing House Bill 3, which mandated raises for teachers, librarians, counselors and nurses.

The FBISD board of trustees approved a compensation increase plan for all of the district’s eligible 8,891 employees. Teachers and librarians received a 5.7% raise, and all other employees received 5%, according to the district. Teacher starting salaries are $56,000 for the 2019-20 school year, up from $53,000 in 2018-19.

FBISD teacher Jennifer Johnson said the district was thinking long-term.

“When the state is no longer providing this money, the district made it an amount they can continue to support,” she wrote in response to a discussion originating in the FBISD Concerns Facebook group.

Managing raises over time will be challenging, Guinn said via email. The allotment increase received by each district will differ, making it difficult to determine the amount compensation should be adjusted to remain competitive with other districts, Guinn said.

Alief ISD gave teachers a 6% raise for a starting salary of $57,400, while Spring Branch ISD approved 6%-9% raises and a salary of $57,000.

The $24.7 million compensation is part of the approved 2019-20 FBISD budget that includes operating expenditures of $716.9 million.

To comply with HB 3, FBISD officials expect to adjust compensation each year to attract and retain top teaching talent, he said.

“The amount of the adjustments will vary based on House Bill 3 and the adjustments anticipated to be given by other local districts,” Guinn said. “For perspective, each 1% increase in compensation has a budgetary impact of over $5 million, with a 3% adjustment equating to over $15 million.”