The Alice Independent School District board recently approved a pay raise of $2,000 per year for each of the district's teachers. It's a move the new superintendent says was at the top of his priority list.
A teacher with no experience now starts at $40,000, while a teacher with more than 30 years experience earns $54,500.
Educators in Alice are excited to hear the news.
"It truly shows the commitment of the school district and the board and the community, and how much they value the teachers in our system and the education of their children," said teacher Nick Alvarado.
Alvarado is getting ready for his first year in Alice after 13 years in San Antonio. He could have made more money staying put, but wanted to teach and coach baseball in South Texas.
Alvarado believes the board's decision reinforces his.
"It helps," said Alvarado. "Obviously you're going to have the districts that pay more money, but it's a matter of where your perspective is, why you do what you do."
Officials say the decision isn't just about teachers. It's also about the students.
"We want to do right by our kids," said Alice ISD Superintendent Dr. Carl Scarbrough. "To be able to do that we need a quality teacher in front of every single kid in this district"
Scarbrough took over the district in early June. His first task was to streamline finances and find more money for teachers.
"When we looked at our pay scale we realized that we weren't as competitive as we could be," said Scarbrough.
By moving money the district already had, Scarbrough was able to adjust budgets for declining enrollment, eliminate redundancies, and make better use of federal money.
In all, Scarbrough saved the district more than $1.2 million; more than enough to cover the $680,000 needed for the raises.
"We found the funds for that, we felt like it was a great value to put it back into our people," said Scarbrough.
And it's not just good news for the teachers. Scarbrough says all the district's support staff are also in line for a raise.
He hopes to have his final plan together for the board by the beginning of the school year.
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