CHEROKEE COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - Jacksonville Independent School District employees will be able to pad their bank accounts with a bit more money this school year.
According to the district, at the regular monthly meeting of the JISD Board of Trustees, Lindy Finley, Associate Superintendent of Business & Finance, outlined the newly adopted budget for 2019-2020. Within that budget, teachers with more than five years of teaching experience will receive a $7,500 pay raise starting in September, while teachers with less than 5 years will see a $7,000 increase averaging 16.76% pay increase per teacher.
The district said that JISD auxiliary and paraprofessional staff will enjoy a 10% raise of the midpoint of their pay grade, and administrators a 7% increase of the mid-point of their pay grade. School leaders say without HB 3, these raises would not be possible.
According to Ms. Finley, “We were looking at a very different scenario before HB3 passed. I can honestly say that this has been the most fun I’ve had when setting the budget as I’m usually looking for things to cut and not things to add!”
The compensation package will be 240% more than the state requirement. School leaders and Board Trustees say it was important to make sure all staff members, not just teachers, got this pay raise.
“We value each and every employee, and the jobs they do to keep JISD a successful district. We see so many staff members giving above and beyond what their job description may outline. To say we have a dedicated staff is an understatement”, said Superintendent Dr. Chad Kelly.
“We now are able to offer a $44,000 starting salary to a first year teacher, and that puts JISD in a much better light for recruiting great teachers to Jacksonville. This is a game-changer for us,” said Brad Stewart, Associate Superintendent of Personnel. “We are now above or in the range of most districts for a starting salary, therefore a viable option for those first year teachers. We are thrilled about the pay increase for the valuable employees we already have, as well as thrilled to be able to go legitimately recruit new employees in a more competitive climate.”
Superintendent Dr. Chad Kelly said these pay raises will keep teachers and staff members in the district, which will benefit students in the long run.
“When students build relationships with teachers, and teachers get to know and care about those students, the climate on our campuses is amazing to witness. We hear over and over again from students that JISD is more like a family, and they can feel how much their teachers care about them, both scholastically and personally. Keeping experienced teachers, and teachers who know our student body is paramount to successful learning environments."
He also said that consistency will help both teachers and students succeed.
“Consistency creates trust, and with trust both teachers and students flourish. These salary increases for our worthy staff are long overdue, and truly is the most exciting matter I have been involved with in my 26 years in education. We are grateful to Senator Nichols and Representative Clardy for their continued support of public education by passing House Bill 3,” Kelly said.
Currently, Jacksonville ISD employees approximately 900 employees. New teachers to the district will be welcomed back on August 12 at the annual New Teacher Breakfast hosted by Austin Bank and Central Baptist Church. JISD Convocation, the first gathering of all staff for the new year, is set for Friday, August 16 at the John Alexander Gym.