At the Magnolia ISD board of trustees budget workshop on May 16, trustees were presented with a budget proposal for fiscal year 2022-23 that includes a 2% raise for all employees, including teachers, bus drivers, and technical and clerical staff. According to the presentation by Assistant Superintendent of Operations Erich Morris, the raise will help create a competitive compensation plan and protect the district from student enrollment growth uncertainties, such as more or fewer students than projected.

A figure for the district’s overall general fund budget for FY 2022-23 was not given during the budget workshop May 16.

The district projects adding 650 students for the 2022-23 school year. To keep up with anticipated student enrollment and hiring competition from other districts, the district’s proposed compensation plan also includes a $2,750 one-time retention incentive for employees, according to the presentation.

“We've never projected more than a few hundred students [in a year]. Now, we're in a different environment now. We’re up 650 [students], and that is far more than any other time frame, at least since 2008,” Morris said at the workshop.

According to the presentation, the 2% raise for all employees also includes increasing the minimum wage for bus drivers from $17.34 to $19 an hour while continuing to provide meals and childcare for transportation employees.

In total, the budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year includes $3.1 million in expenses for staffing new positions, providing hiring bonuses for difficult-to-fill positions and increasing pay, according to the presentation.

In regard to having a competitive compensation plan, the presentation showed MISD’s starting salary for the 2021-22 school year was $55,000 compared to $56,700 for Tomball ISD and $58,500 for Conroe ISD. MISD is increasing teacher pay by 2%, while TISD's pay is increasing by 4% and CISD's pay is increasing by 2.5%, according to the presentation

According to district officials, a July budget workshop may be called. A meeting the first week of August will approve the tax rate, and a public hearing will be held Aug. 22 before the budget vote. A tax rate had not been proposed as of publication.