On Monday night, two area school districts — Tuloso-Midway Independent School District and Gregory-Portland Independent School District — approved a pay raise for their teachers.
It was a pleasant surprise for TMISD Pre-K teacher Kacey Mueller.
“We invest so much in our students and in our classrooms, so to have that little bit of extra help to increase personally for our home life and such is very appreciated,” Mueller said.
Mueller will get a 12 percent raise going into the 2022-23 school year.
“It averaged over a six percent raise,” Dr. Steven VanMatre, TMISD superintendent said. “Some of our teachers are getting 12.”
VanMatre started his role as superintendent on June 6.
“I felt very strongly that our compensation was too low for the work that our people do,” he said. “Now, what we did last night with their support wasn’t enough. But, it’s a start.”
The district is looking to hire seven teachers. First year teachers will now make $51,500.
“The more we can support our classrooms the better, it’ll be for our students,” VanMatre said.
He added that support starts with a bigger paycheck.
In July, TMISD will look to increase administrator and auxiliary personnel salaries, as well.
Faculty and staff will also receive a stipend between $2,000 and $5,000.
Over at Gregory-Portland ISD, the board of trustees approved a $1.7 million investment that also includes a three percent increase for current full-time teachers and administrators.
“So last year, our starting was $58,000 for a teacher right out of college,” Brandon Chandler, the chief human resources officer for GPISD said. “We increased it to $60,000 this year.”
Administrators at GPSID said the pandemic didn’t affect them as much as other school districts and they are unique.
“We have a very high industrial tax base and that affords us some additional revenue where we are able to utilize and turn right back into our employees,” Superintendent Dr. Michelle Cavazos said.
GPISD will pay bus drivers $25 an hour and the district is looking to fill four teacher vacancies and a vice principal position.
“We go into education knowing that you’re not going to become a millionaire,” Chandler said. “But, at the end of the day, you still have to pay your bill and survive and be able to support your families and I want to make sure our employees are able to do that.”