The Board approved a 2023–24 compensation plan with pay raises of 4 percent of midpoint for every staff member. This raise would be reflected in employees’ first 2023–24 paycheck.
Note: The approved plan includes language to allow for one-time payment options should certain parameters be met, along with language to allow for a further increase to the base pay should the legislature provide enough funding to do so.
“We’re an organization where 87% of our day-to-day budget goes toward payroll and benefits. And as it should, because the incredible work of the teachers and staff in Leander ISD lays the foundation to provide the level of education our students deserve,” Board President Trish Bode said. “Should additional education funding come out of this legislative session, Trustees have laid out a clear path to take up the compensation topic again and look to direct more money to our staff.”
As outlined in the Board’s Legislative Priorities, Trustees have continued to encourage legislators to increase education funding to cover costs of inflation since the last adjustment to school district funding four years ago.
With this 4-percent increase at midpoint, every teacher would receive an additional $2,385 per year. The starting salary for teachers would rise to $55,655. For non-teacher-scale positions, the increase is calculated in a similar fashion: the raise percentage is applied to the midpoint of a scale, and then everyone in that scale receives the same dollar amount raise.
Additional highlights of the compensation plan include:
- Increases to Special Education stipends and supplemental pay increases, which were approved at the March 9 meeting.
- Differential pay – an additional $1.50 per hour – for Child Nutrition Services and Custodial Services employees at schools in the southern region of the district to help address hard-to-fill positions
- A Student-Teacher compensation program, including incentives to choose LISD for their student-teaching semester and separate incentives to sign on as full-time teacher once completing student teaching
“The teachers and staff of this district – through the impact they have on each and every student – form a community of life-changers,” said Superintendent Bruce Gearing, Ed.D. “We remain committed to honoring their work while maintaining a budget that keeps the district on solid financial footing.”
To view all of the salary scales and stipends from the approved compensation plan, visit the Salary Scales section of the Human Resources page.
At one time, the district presented the option of a 3-percent raise in conjunction with a longevity pay proposal that had $4,000 bonuses at 5-year milestones. Based on feedback from staff during the superintendent’s listening sessions, the Board opted for the higher across-the-board raise to base pay – the approved 4 percent – instead of the bonus option, which would not have been eligible for TRS’ retirement calculations when they look at an employee’s five highest paid years of service.
“I want to offer sincere gratitude to those who were able to carve out time during this busy time of year to connect with us and offer feedback,” Gearing said. “In comparing the two options, the preference to have a higher percentage added to the base pay came through loud and clear.”
Recapping the listening sessions, Gearing also highlighted feedback from staff about the increasing difficulty to live in this community with rising costs. Experienced teachers also stressed the importance of rewarding their years of service to LISD and requested a closer examination when looking at midpoint salary adjustments in contrast to alternatives, such as adjusting based on a teacher’s current salary.
As part of the approved total compensation package, employees will see an average medical insurance premium increase of 4.5%, with the actual amount varying from plan to plan. The majority of employees – 86% of staff based on current plan selections – would see an increase of $20 or less per month. These changes will take effect in the new benefits year – January 2024.
The current legislative session ends May 29, with the governor’s veto period concluding June 18.