HISD teachers say they feel tricked after signing contracts with higher salaries that aren’t being honored

HOUSTON – Some Houston Independent School District teachers say they feel tricked and devalued after signing new contracts with raises that are now not being honored.

”You (HISD) suckered me into a contract,” said one teacher, Nicole Richardson.

She says she feels duped by the district, and now regrets leaving her job at a Spring ISD school.

”I was department chair, senior sponsor, and some more,” she said.

Her choice to bring her skills to HISD, she says, was based on a contract that matched her previous salary, but the new position allowed her more time to complete her principalship.

”An 11-month contract as a lead teacher at HISD at $75K, I think like 243 was the exact amount,” she said.

But after signing, the veteran math teacher says she learned Worthing High School, where she was assigned, had its classification changed to a “New Education System” or “NES” aligned school.

It’s an initiative that administrators said is aimed at providing struggling schools with more support.

Richardson’s main issue, she says, is the position she was offered had changed, and so had her salary.

”First of all, they had me listed as a reading teacher, at a pay of $68K. I’m a math teacher,” she said.

Special Education co-teacher, Shonda Snoddy-Walker, said she also left a great school for an HISD contract.

”I found out today that HISD is not honoring our offer letters,” Snoddy-Walker said.

Her letter promised six figures, including a $12,000 stipend.

”So, I’m making $71K,” she said.

While Snoddy-Walker says she is still getting the stipend, she and Richardson say they don’t understand why they’re now being forced to settle with offers they didn’t agree to.

”You gave me a contract that’s TBC code 2601 and it was in writing, that’s that code,” Richardson said. “You enticed me to take this contract because of the financial gain.”

KPRC 2 contacted HISD officials multiple times for answers and were told they’re investigating and that they will update us with information as soon as it’s available.

About the Authors:

Moriah Ballard joined the KPRC 2 digital team in the fall of 2021. Prior to becoming a digital content producer in Southeast Texas and a Houstonian, Moriah was an award-winning radio host in her hometown of Lorain, Ohio and previously worked as a producer/content creator in Cleveland. Her faith, family, and community are her top passions.