By Betsy Dolan
With Fort Bend ISD expecting to see an additional $18.1 million this school year thanks to House Bill 5 which restored some public school funding, the Board of Trustees approved an additional one percent salary increase for all district employees at its July 8 meeting.
The district will see a total of $27 million over the next two years due to the passage of HB 5.
The BOT had already approved a two percent salary increase earlier this summer after staff reviewed the salaries in surrounding districts and proposed a series of adjustments for staff not currently exceeding the maximum pay grade.
This additional one percent increase is estimated to raise the district’s General Fund and Food Service budgets by $3,661,948 and $338,475, respectively.
The school board also approved the hiring of 35 new elementary teaching positions to reduce the student to teacher ratio to 22:1 in grades kindergarten through third grade.
Eight new middle school assistant principal positions were also approved to ensure that each campus has one associate and two assistant principals.
Trustee Susan Hohnbaum asked why additional teachers weren’t added at the middle school level.
“Middle schools would like to add additional teachers but want to take a more strategic approach when we know the configuration of how our staff will change in the coming years,” FBISD Superintendent Charles Dupre said.
After meeting with high school principals, the district proposed 15 new teaching positions to be added where needed especially to alleviate larger class sizes or master scheduling issues. Administrative staff said that after discussions with campus principals, district employees recognized the need to further study and develop the FBISD response to House Bill 5 before allocating additional staff on the high school level.
The Board previously approved an increase in the starting teacher salary to $46,500 from $44,750.