HISD Board approves $2B budget, pay increases for teachers, stipends for employees

HOUSTON – The Houston Independent School District Board of Trustees approved a $2 billion budget in a 7-2 vote Thursday evening that includes $34.4 million salary and benefits package as well as an increase in employer contribution to health insurance premiums for employees.

Here’s what is included in the approved salary and benefits package:

  • Employees whose salaries are based on the teacher salary placement table, will see a step movement plus a 1.5% one-time retention stipend based on the employees’ new 2020-2021 annual salary
  • Employees on the master scale, will see a one-time $500 retention stipend adjusted for their work-time percentage
  • Bus drivers, crossing guards and food service attendants, will see a one-time $500 retention stipend adjusted for their work-time percentage

“The tax rate in HISD’s 2020-2021 budget is slated to be a maximum of $1.1331 for every $100 of property valuation, down a fraction from last year’s $1.1367,” officials wrote in a release.

Planning for an academic year amid coronavirus has been of some concern said district II trustee, Kathy Blueford-Daniels.

“When we’re looking at the budget, it’s based on a normal school year,” Blueford-Daniels said. “Nothing going on now is normal, so we have to be able to make adjustments where applicable.”

District officials said Thursday evening in a release that the actual cost of coronavirus in the next fiscal year remains uncertain.

“Classes may resume in-person, take place on staggered attendance days to facilitate social distancing, or continue virtually or a combination of staggered days and virtual instruction,” officials wrote.