By Betsy Dolan
The Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved a salary increase for its teachers and staff for the 20012-2013 school year at the regular board meeting on May 7. All district staff, including teachers, will get a 3 percent pay raise during the next school year because of an additional $15 million that the school district expects to get in funding from the state.
“Our employees have worked very hard over the past couple of years with little to no increase in compensation,” said Dr. Timothy Jenny, Fort Bend ISD Superintendent. “They deserve a raise because of their commitment and value to our students, and to remain competitive among other like businesses.”
Under the plan, entry level teachers will see their starting salary increase to $44,750, up from $44,000 and the average teacher salary in Fort Bend ISD would increase to $52,006. The average salary in Houston ISD is $52,369. The district also expects to hire additional staff at a cost of about 4 million to meet growth.
In the past two years, Fort Bend ISD has lost close to $50 million of state funding, resulting in teacher layoffs and a salary freeze for non-teaching employees. Teachers did receive a step increase in the 2010-11 school year but did not receive an increase in 2011-12.
The district’s Chief Financial Officer, Dr. Tracy Hoke, told the school board that the rating agency, Fitch, recently upgraded the district’s financial rating from AA to AA+ and she quoted the agency: “The district’s financial position is strong…Historically, the district’s proactive administrators have prudently managed resources to sustain a healthy financial profile; this track record largely mitigates concerns over the recent budgetary challenges.”
The Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees will hold a public budget meeting on May 21 at 4:30 pm at the FBISD Administration Building, 16431 Lexington Blvd., to receive information, comments and views on the proposed 2012-2013 school district budget and tax rates.
The administration recommends the Board set the proposed 2012 Maintenance and Operations tax rate at $1.04 and the Debt Service tax rate at $0.30.
Budget adoption is scheduled for June 11.