Board discusses salary hikes

·5 min read

May 11—Increased salaries for the 2022-23 school year were discussed by members of the Ector County ISD Board of Trustees.

Each year, ECISD's Human Capital Department, with the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB), conducts a salary maintenance study to try to ensure the compensation schedule is competitive with other school districts and local markets. Superintendent Scott Muri made five compensation recommendations to trustees during their workshop meeting Tuesday:

>> 3 percent (of midpoint) pay increase for all campus-based professionals.

A 3 percent increase for all campus-based professionals.

>> A new starting teacher salary of $58,750. Muri said this would make ECISD one of it not the highest paying districts in the region. He added it will help the district attract and retain the best people.

In 2018-19, teachers started at $44,500 and after the passage of the tax ratification election in 2020-21 the starting salary was $54,250.

>> 2% (of midpoint) pay increase for all central office professionals, the board recap said.

>> 4% (of midpoint) pay increase for all hourly employees (school-based or central office), the recap said.

>> Implementing a new $15 minimum wage for hourly employees. Muri said the current minimum wage is $12.65 per hour.

Executive Director for Human Resources Staci Ashley said the 3 percent increase affects teachers, nurses, media specialists, counselors, principals, associate principals, assistant principals and deans of students.

Those impacted by the 2 percent increase are central office administration (exempt employees) such as directors, coordinators, supervisors, specialists, executive directors, associate superintendents, chief of schools, chief financial officer, chief technology officer, administrative professionals and special education staff.

The 4 percent increase affects custodians, maintenance, school nutrition, transportation, police, technology, instructional support (aides, certified nurse assistant, Opportunity Culture Reach Associate, teacher residents and instructional facilitators.

Also, clerical support (clerks, registrars, administrative assistants, specialists and receptionists).

Additional areas of compensation for 2022-23 are the teacher incentive allotment; Opportunity Culture; working at a RISE campus (Burnet Elementary and Bowie Middle School).

There are also stipends and supplemental pay.

Trustees also discussed the new redistricting map for ECISD and the timeline for filling the District 7 spot left vacant by Nelson Minyard.

A public hearing will be held at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the ECISD Board Room on the redistricting map for ECISD, Odessa College and Ector County Hospital District. ECISD trustees plan to vote on the changes at their May 17 meeting.

Muri said the population of Ector County has risen from 95,000 to 160,000.

Muri said they have 180 days from the time of that resignation to appoint, so an appointment would be needed sometime in July.

Muri suggested posting the unpaid position and they would make sure that people live in Position 7 know this position is available.

They would have until the end of May to apply. The board would take the first two weeks in June to review applications, talk through those and consider who they would like to interview.

At the regular meeting in June, the board would interview candidates and then appoint someone.

Board President Tammy Hawkins suggested holding a town hall meeting in District 7 with board members present to talk about and hear questions about serving on the board.

Only three board members can attend, Muri said.

Trustees also approved appointing Juan Dominguez, Adonica Galindo and Raquel Rodriguez as principals to the pool of principals for when there is an opening.

The board also:

>> Voted 6-0 to approve the submission of a grant application to M.S. Doss Foundation of Seminole. This grant request is for $80,000 for a playground at Carver Early Education Center to promote physical development for children ages 3-5 living with disabilities. Accessible equipment is needed so that all children can use it with greater independence and greater interaction with peers, the board recap said.

>> Discussed revisions to local board policies for the District of Innovation (DOI) renewal plan. Trustees recently approved the ECISD District of Innovation Plan and the related exemptions from state statutes. This report reflects the revisions and updates to local policies that are most pressing due to their impact on staffing and the start of school in 2022-2023. Texas Association of School Boards Policy Service assisted the district in proposing revisions and additions to ECISD board policy.

>> The ECISD Innovation Department presented an update on its work which is dedicated to steadily improving systems and processes by building capacity in ECISD to implement and embed breakthrough innovations. PICK Education, one of the Innovation Department's first initiatives, is a philosophy of building a network of partners in which students and teachers collect data and contribute to real-world university research, the recap detailed.

An accredited neuroscience course and use of Virtual Reality are a couple of leading-edge classroom experiences available to ECISD students now. The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP), introduced by the Innovation Department, gives students a chance to develop a science experiment to be conducted by astronauts on the International Space Station. The Innovation Department also reaches across departments to support projects like the district's badging system.

>> Heard a report from ECISD's Athletics Department. ECISD offers 15 varieties of boys and girls sports with 208 teams from seventh grade through varsity athletics and 174 UIL certified coaches.

More than 4,400 students from middle school and high school played 2,270 games (August to May) with varsity teams traveling 165,000 miles in the process. Attendance by athletes is at 95.6%, and the four-year graduation rate for students in athletics is 95.5%, the recap said.

This year 32 of the 38 teams made the playoffs in their sports. Character development and community service are other aspects of each athletic program. Student-athletes and their coaches volunteer and fundraise on behalf of a number of organizations, a reminder of how much ECISD students and staff give back to the community that supports them. New things coming include a parent-student engagement class and online ticketing, the recap said.