The Dallas Schools presented a budget to the trustees that may have teachers receiving raises as high as $5000 next school year. The proposed $1.16 billion budget contains nearly $31.5 million for salary increases and new incentives for educators and support staff of the Dallas Schools. The Dallas Schools will also cover the rise in health insurance costs for its employees, instead of passing that cost on through higher premiums, which means lower pay checks.
Budget Impacts Sizes of Dallas Schools
The budget for the Dallas Schools also contains funding for the effort to have smaller class sizes in middle schools, and more arts teachers in the elementary schools. Added funds will also give the high school teachers an additional planning period. These are the things that teachers in the Dallas Schools say are important to them. These three efforts alone, proposed and encouraged by the teachers and administrators of the Dallas Schools, could take a $17.1 million bite out of the proposed budget. But all involved say that the pay off is well worth the cost. Superintendent Michael Hinojosa of the Dallas Schools called the plan a “robust, teacher-friendly” budget. Educators laud his long-term vision in an era of high-stakes testing. There is a national battle on where to spend scarce educational funds.
Pay Packages for Teachers in Dallas Schools
On average other school support staff such as administrative employees will see about a 3% raise. The Dallas Schools will create incentive stipends to encourage principals and teachers to move to “hard to staff” schools. Within the Dallas Schools there are three area high schools and two middle schools considered “hard to staff’ due to their location in low income and high crime areas. Those willing to move there could get anywhere from $6000 for teachers, to $10,000 for principals. The details of that incentive plan are still in the planning stages, but administrators in Dallas Schools feel that this will attract experienced quality teachers and administrators to the areas where their skills are the most desperately needed.
The trustees of the Dallas Schools are scheduled to vote on the budget at a meeting in June. The overall spending in Dallas Schools is expected to increase by about $38 million; however the Dallas taxpayers will not see an increase in their contribution. They will actually see a lower tax rate because of a growing tax base, increased aid for schools from the state, and lower interest payments on the 2002 bond program. Dallas Schools Teacher Union President, Aimee Bolender, said that the proposed salary increases are “more than fair, and that the other initiatives – smaller classes and more planning time – will benefit educators. More importantly it will have a positive impact on the education of the students of the Dallas Schools that we serve”.