CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Teachers and staff at Gregory-Portland ISD will have more income for the 2021-2022 school year.
The Gregory-Portland Independent School District Board of Trustees approved pay raises and retention stipends during last night's regular meeting.
“There is no greater investment we can make as an organization than to strategically and intentionally support the hard-working employees who make a difference for our students,” GPISD Superintendent Dr. Michelle Cavazos said. “Our team recommended this increase, and retention stipend plan, to the school board after a thorough review of current district funding sources and active preparation for this year’s budget that includes these changes we were able to make with current revenue."
According to a press release from the district, the raises will include a 3 percent increase for teachers, and each full-time employee will receive $2,500 in retention stipend pay during the next school year (with part-time employees receiving $1,250). G-PISD will invest $1.5 million for pay increases this year, and nearly $1.9 million for retention stipends from the district’s federal ESSER III fund allotment.
“We also conducted a survey this summer that invited students, families, staff, and community members to tell us how they wanted to see federal ESSER dollars spent in our district," Cavazos said. "The results were clear among respondents that employee retention was a high priority, and therefore some ESSER funds will be used this year to provide retention stipends.”
Cavazos also said the district is continuing to streamline internal processes and prepare as much as possible for projected state budget shortfalls during the next few years as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Last year, department budgets were being cut by 4 percent," Cavazos said. "This year we are aligning systems and shifting to address student needs based on priority, enrollment, interest, progress measuring, and public feedback.”
After listening to a financial report on the district, trustees unanimously voted to approve the pay adjustments. Board President Victor Hernandez said the board is thankful for the job the district employees are doing, especially through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are extremely thankful to serve a district where we’ve been able to award pay increases for many consecutive years," Hernandez said. "We realize that may not always be the case due to state legislation and the long-term effects of the ‘Robin Hood’ law —which will eventually require our district to send millions back to the state on an annual basis— so, we intend to consider opportunities to support teachers and staff whenever possible.”
Clerical/technical and auxiliary staff will receive an increase of $1.25 per hour, and bus driver pay will increase from $22 to $24 per hour. The district also said academic and athletic stipends were adjusted to meet or exceed median pay for 5A and 6A districts.
Student worker pay will be increased from $7.25 to $12 per hour. Administrators will receive a 3 percent raise from the midpoint of their salary schedules.
The approved salary investment will be part of the district’s 2021-2022 budget, slated for adoption in August. All increases will be reflected in district pay beginning on or before September 24, 2021.