CORPUS CHRISTI, Tx. — Corpus Christi teachers finally know how big of a pay raise they're receiving thanks to additional state funding that lawmakers approved for that very purpose.
"At this moment, I'm satisfied with what we got," said Susie Saldana of the United Teachers and School Employees union.
Lawmakers left it up to individual school districts to decide how big raises for their teachers should be. At their meeting Monday, the Corpus Christi ISD School Board approved the size of their raises after more than an hour of debate and discussion.
Teachers, nurses, and librarians who have six or more years of experience will get a 5 percent raise effective Sept. 15. Teachers with less experience will get 3 percent raises. Other full-time school employees will get 2 percent raises.
"I know that our teachers are going to be happy that there's at least a pay raise," Saldana said. "Last year they didn't have one, so we're very happy that this year they're going to have a pay raise."
The raises are smaller that what smaller districts in the Coastal Bend are doing. Alice ISD recently approved raises of more than 10.5 percent. That's the level that the Corpus Christi chapter of the American Federation of Teachers hoped CCISD would land.
"CCISD could have done better," AFT-Corpus Christi President Dr. Nancy Vera said. "I think some districts gave 10 percent. There were all sorts of excuses. Of course, we're happy with what we get."
Teachers will also get stipends ranging from 1 to 3 percent depending on their experience level. Board members discussed possibly increasing the amount of those checks that teachers will receive in November in the future.
"So there's hope that we can still increase that, to add another percent to the stipend," Saldana said. "We're hopeful for that. We're very hopeful to get something like that going."