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MFISD talks potential pay raises

Marble Falls Independent School District Board of Trustees 4-19-22

The Marble Falls Independent School District Board of Trustees discussed employee pay raises during its April 19 meeting. YouTube Live screen capture

Employees of the Marble Falls Independent School District could receive a minimum 4 percent general pay increase in the 2022-23 school year. Employee compensation rates were discussed at the Board of Trustees’ regular meeting Tuesday, April 19, as the district begins the process of creating a budget for the next school year.

“We are currently building a budget that is based on a review of our current resources, the local markets, and frankly, what’s going on in the job market with educators across both the state and the country,” Superintendent Chris Allen told trustees. 

This discussion comes less than a month after the Burnet Consolidated Independent School District board approved raising the starting salaries for new teachers and librarians and just a day after the BCISD board approved a 2 percent mid-point general pay increase for current staff

MFISD employees have received a mid-point general pay increase of 2-4 percent annually since the 2015-16 school year.

For the 2022-23 school year, however, the district is considering a minimum 4 percent general pay increase to offer more competitive rates in the job market. Additionally, the district plans to increase its health care contribution for full-time district employees by $35 a month. 

“This will stretch our revenues,” Allen said. “I don’t want to paint a false picture, but we feel very confident that we can do this financially.” 

Increases also will apply to hourly employees, whose rates would be raised by at least $1 per hour. 

Allen said the district is especially looking into ways to increase wages for the district’s “lowest-paid employees,” which include cafeteria workers, custodians, maintenance staff, and bus drivers. Pay scales for some employees in this category start at $11.50 an hour, while others begin at $12.50. 

While pay increases will not go into effect until the school board adopts the 2022-23 budget, Allen said he wanted to discuss plans publicly to aid future hiring. 

“Obviously, you have to have a budget adopted by the board and a personnel package adopted,” he said. “I’m not asking you for that tonight. But I do want our people to start making decisions in how we talk to folks with them having the confidence in knowing that the board is behind us making these adjustments.” 

The 2022-23 school year will be the second year the district has offered an annual $6,000 stipend to bilingual teachers, Allen said. 

During the discussion, board President Kevin Naumann expressed his support of the raises. 

“I think the board has been pretty clear in the way that we want to be supportive of our staff, particularly in this environment,” he said. “I’m all about it. I’m glad we’re taking a big swing at it, particularly on the health insurance side. Over the last couple of years, that’s been a priority.” 

Allen said additional information regarding pay increases will be released in the near future. 

IN OTHER BUSINESS

The board named Clark Fields the new principal of Falls Career High School. With 18 years of in-district experience, Fields will take over the position from current principal Allie Hampton. 

brigid@thepicayune.com