HOUSTON -

Houston Independent School District teachers are receiving a pay raise in the new budget.

The new budget of $1.5 billion, which was approved Thursday, includes a 2 percent pay raise for all teachers.

"It's nice to feel appreciated, and everything's going up and we'd like to keep up with everybody else, but most teachers aren't there for the amount of money they're paying," said Terry Houvouras, who has been teaching in Houston schools for 30 years. "They went into teaching for the amount of money they're going to get, they want to teach."

The district is using $9 million in savings for the pay raises instead of raising taxes.

"I think teachers love the job and that's why they do it. I don't think the pay has to do anything, but I definitely believe they do a lot of hard work so they deserve the pay," said parent Monique Murrah.

"They deserve it. I think they deserve it. The school my kids attend, they deserve it," parent Adrienne Holiday said.

Other employees are also receiving pay raises:

  • Principals, assistant principals and deans: 2 percent
  • School bus operators, hourly food services employees, and salaried departmental employees on the lower end of the pay scale: 2.25 percent
  • Substitute teachers and other hourly employees: 2.25  percent
  • Professional employees and upper-level administrators: 1.75 percent

Last year, more than 700 teaching and administrative positions were cut.