Board approves 19-20 budget & raises for staff

LISD Board approves 2019-2020 budget and raises for staff
Posted on 06/24/2019

District News Release


DATE: June 24, 2019


LISD Board approves 2019-2020 budget and raises for staffLISD Board at June 24, 2019 meeting


Lockhart Independent School District’s Board of Trustees approved the 2019-2020 budget, totaling $62.7 million at its regular meeting Monday night. Included within the budget is $39.8 million for employee compensation and benefits. 


Teachers with five years and less service will receive a $2,300 increase. Teachers with six or more years of service will receive a $3,000 increase. The district provided additional increases for teachers with 11 - 23 years of service in response to findings of a Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) pay study that found the district’s pay for more veteran teachers was in need of adjustment. The move helps LISD to be more competitive with other districts. Overall, school district teacher pay raises range from 4.3 percent to 8 percent of the median teacher salary, depending on years of service.


Campus principals, assistant principals, athletic trainers, PT/Adaptive physical education teachers, special education assessment staff, and speech language pathologists will receive a $3,000 increase. Other non-teaching district staff will receive an increase of 3 percent of the midpoint of the 2019-2020 salary scales. 


The 2019-2020 budget also provides for five additional full-time positions for art and music teachers, which were approved at a special Board meeting earlier this month. In response to feedback from parents regarding school safety, the district is also hiring five teacher aides for the elementary level as well as a social emotional counselor for the district. This new counselor will teach social-emotional skills to students in small groups and individually at the secondary level, in line with the district’s philosophy of educating the whole child. 


Other positions added for the next school year reflect the need to support the fast-growth of the district, including a student information system specialist, two computer technicians, and an additional maintenance staff to provide additional support in caring for the district’s facilities. Lockhart High School will gain four new positions due to student population growth to teach science, American Sign Language, social studies, and provide resource and inclusion for students receiving special education services. Lockhart Junior High School will also add a resource and inclusion teacher for its growing population. 


“Lockhart ISD is fortunate to have a Board that is heavily invested in supporting our teachers and staff to best meet the needs of our growing student population while ensuring we are responsible and good stewards of public resources,” said Superintendent Mark Estrada. “We are proud to have a compensation plan that pays our teachers and staff beyond what was required through legislation. We have a budget that increases pay for our staff at levels we have not been able to do in recent years. It provides additional positions to attend to the needs of the whole child as well as to meet the needs of the district’s fast growth.”


Budget development during a legislative year that was primarily focused on school finance offered many twists and turns during the budget development cycle. Earlier this year, some legislators spoke of potential across-the-board pay raises for teachers, but an analysis of the proposal revealed the move would leave little money for raises for other public education staff or other education priorities. 


Instead, through House Bill 3 (HB3), legislators decided to tie raises to a percentage of each district’s overall funding increase, allowing districts the flexibility to apply the increase in funding to address local needs and priorities while ensuring pay increases for teachers. Because of this, each school district’s salary increase amounts for teachers, librarians, counselors, and RNs will be varied as each district received different levels of funding increase. In the case of Lockhart ISD, HB 3 funding would have provided a range of 1.9 percent to 6 percent raise. However, LISD leadership and Board wanted to go beyond that range for teachers, librarians, counselors, and RNs, instead providing a 4.3 percent to 8 percent raise. In total, legislators provided $6.5 billion to improve public education and increase teacher pay. 


HB 3 also provided $5.1 billion in property tax relief for Texas property owners, decreasing the amount of new revenue for school districts through property taxes.  In response to legislation, district leadership is required to reduce the total tax rate by 7 cents. The district is proposing a total tax rate of $1.26236 per $100 property value, which is 7 cents lower than the 2018 tax rate of $1.33236. The final approval of the new tax rate will not occur until August or September this year. 


Superintendent Estrada added, “District leaders and Board members visited with Rep. John Cyrier and Sen. Judith Zaffirini early in the legislative session to share the priorities and concerns of Lockhart ISD and Texas public education. We are grateful for their help in strengthening supports for public education and our teachers.”


To read more about HB 3, visit  https://lockhartisd.link/HB3


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