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With the need for teachers across the state increasing and the hiring pool decreasing, Burnet Consolidated Independent School District is considering raising educator salaries for the 2022-23 academic year.

During the Board of Trustees’ special budget workshop and meeting Monday, March 7, district administration recommended raising the starting salary for a teacher to $51,000 for the next school year and “adjusting the teacher salary schedule accordingly for all steps,” according to a statement from BCISD Superintendent Keith McBurnett.

The board will consider the recommendation during its March 28 meeting.

Under the current BCISD teacher pay schedule, a new teacher with no experience earns $49,610 a year. A teacher with 10 years’ experience earns $52,810. The scale tops out at $62,195 for a teacher with 30 or more years of experience. 

According to a 2021 National Education Association report, the average starting salary for a Texas teacher was $44,582. The state-required minimum for a starting teacher’s salary is $33,660.

BCISD is also considering increasing the Spanish Foreign Language Teacher Stipend from $2,000 to $5,000 with a $1,000 sign-on bonus.

Another administration recommendation in regard to pay that the board will consider in the future is a 2 percent midpoint general increase for all district employees.

The district is also studying other salary- and benefit-related items such as market adjustments for targeted stipends, an increase in substitute pay, and dental and health insurance premium adjustments.

“The Board will consider approval of increases of insurance premiums at the May 16 regular board meeting with the goal of maintaining free benefits for employees,” McBurnett stated in a letter to staff.

As BCISD prepares for growth in student enrollment by adding classrooms and facilities, it is also looking at how to bolster staffing. On March 7, Human Resources Director Michele Gilmore gave a presentation based on a Texas Association of School Boards staffing study. BCISD administrators are recommending the board approve the addition of three classroom teachers at Bertram Elementary School, one at R.J. Richey Elementary, and one at Shady Grove Elementary as well as one more special education teacher at Burnet High School. These positions would help BCISD maintain proper teacher-to-student ratios.

Other additional staff recommendations include:

  • one secondary special education self-contained behavior teacher;
  • one secondary special education self-contained behavior instructional partner;
  • an elementary campus counselor;
  • a Shady Grove receptionist (half-time);
  • and an occupational therapist.

Funding for the new positions and salary adjustments would likely come through monies associated with student enrollment, growth, and attendance. The state-contributed funds for public school districts are primarily based on student enrollment and attendance. As the number of students attending BCISD schools increases, so should state funding.

At the March 7 meeting and workshop, Chief Financial Officer Clay Goehring went over some 2022-23 budget information, including a projected maintenance and operation tax rate of 86.46 cents per $100 property valuation, which would be a decrease of 1.74 cents from the current rate.

McBurnett stated the board will have a second budget workshop in June “in preparation for adopting the budget and tax rate in August.”

Visit the BCISD website for more information, updates, and meeting information. 

daniel@thepicayune.com