The Comal ISD board of trustees voted to approve a 3% increase in employee compensation for the 2024-25 school year, after deliberating the district's financial constraints and the need for transparent communication.

The details

There was discussion about whether to implement a 3% increase based on the average salary or the actual salary of each employee.

The board ultimately decided to approve a 3% actual increase, acknowledging the importance of transparency and clear communication with staff members.

On May 13, Comal ISD's neighboring district New Braunfels ISD approved a 4% salary increase for the 2024-2025 school year.

What they're saying

The board acknowledged the financial challenges facing the district, including a projected budget shortfall and the impact of state legislation on school funding.

“We know the money's not there, but we have to plan accordingly because of our duty towards the taxpayers,” CISD trustee Courtney Biasatti said.

Board members emphasized the need to balance employee compensation with fiscal responsibility.

The district's financial challenges include a projected $30 million shortfall. Board President Russ Garner emphasized the importance of avoiding layoffs, leading to a recommendation for a 3% raise despite the desire for more.

“If we start adding another few million [dollars], we're talking people,” Garner said. “The last thing I want to do is cut people; I'm going to do everything in my power to not cut people."

The board discussed the implications of the approved increase on the district's budget, noting that tough decisions may need to be made in other areas to accommodate the raises.

What’s next

Long-term planning to address ongoing financial challenges will continue, board members said, with more to be discussed, including policy changes, at the June 27 board meeting.

The board is considering the possibility of initiating a tax ratification election to generate additional revenue for the district, Garner said before motioning for the approval of the 3% increase.