The Leander ISD Board of Trustees approved a compensation plan for the 2022–23 school year that provides teachers, nurses and counselors with a 5-percent-of-midpoint pay increase and a 4-percent-of-midpoint pay increase for all other staff. The full raise will take effect in employees’ first 2022–23 paycheck.

“Taking care of Leander ISD’s amazing teachers and staff continues to be of utmost importance to this Board,” Board President Trish Bode said. “These raises connect to our Board-adopted Core Beliefs and are intended to be a step in honoring our employees’ hard work as life-changers and acknowledge the financial reality many of our dedicated employees find themselves in living in this community.”

The approved compensation plan establishes a new minimum hourly wage of $15 per hour, an increase that will have a ripple effect up the hourly pay scales. With the 2022–23 compensation plan, the substitute rate will increase from $90 per day to $115 per day. Certified, long-term substitutes and registered nurse substitutes will also see an increase to the daily rate.

To view all of the salary scales and stipends from the approved compensation plan, visit the Salary Scales section of the Human Resources page.

“In Leander ISD, we pride ourselves on being able to provide a level of education that goes above and beyond, and the children of our community deserve that,” said Superintendent Bruce Gearing, Ed.D. “That’s only possible because of the high-quality teachers and staff in this district.”

The compensation plan connects to the Board’s ongoing planning of the 2022–23 operating budget and how to address the projected deficit. A possible Voter-Approval Tax Rate Election (VATRE) – which would be initiated under the Board’s current approved budget assumptions, raising the Maintenance & Operations (M&O) tax rate by 9 pennies and lowering the Interest & Sinking (I&S) tax rate by more than 13 pennies, resulting in a total tax rate decrease of 6 pennies – is one tool the district has available to lower the operating budget deficit. However, the issue of adequate funding for school districts in Texas runs much deeper.

“It’s not a localized problem, and it’s not an LISD problem,” Gearing pointed out. “The districts all around us have the same problem and have dealt with it in different ways at different times. But the problem is a statewide problem, and if the state legislature does not change how they fund public education, the problem is not going away and it’s going to get worse over time.”

“Passing a VATRE in November puts our district on a more stable financial footing and would provide the community with an overall tax rate reduction,” Board Vice President Gloria Gonzales-Dholakia, Ed.D., said. 

For information about a possible VATRE and to gain a deeper understanding of how school districts in Texas are funded, check out LISD’s new Smart Money website.

The 5-percent increase at midpoint for teachers equates to an added $2,858 all employees on the teacher scale will see in 2022–23. The starting salary for teachers rises to $53,520.

The 4-percent-of-midpoint adjustment for non-teacher-scale positions 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.

The Board also approved increasing the district’s employer contributions for medical plan coverage from $350 to $360 per month for all eligible employees; however, this additional funding will only help offset the annual healthcare inflation costs. Current employee premiums will increase by 2 percent, taking effect in the new benefits year – January 2023 – as a result of rising health care costs across the state. 

If the following conditions are met:

  1. The Board sets a tax rate to initiate a Voter-Approval Tax Rate Election (VATRE) of at least 9 pennies, which is the Board’s current approved budget assumptions; and
  2. The VATRE passes in November 2022; then

The Board will provide a one-time lump sum retention payment for all eligible employees in an amount to be determined in future Board action.

Note: In previous discussions about the compensation plan, a portion of the salary increase was to be contingent on a Voter-Approval Tax Rate Election (VATRE) in November. However, with the compensation plan approved by the Board May 19, the 5-percent raise for teachers and the 4-percent raise for all other staff are not contingent on the VATRE. These raises will be reflected in employees’ first 2022–23 paycheck.