As part of HISD’s five-year strategic plan, Superintendent Millard House II announced an upgrade to the compensation plan for educators.
According to the district, there will be an 11% pay increase for HISD teachers starting at $61,500 for the 2022 and 2023 school year. Currently, more than 8,000 current teachers have committed to teaching in the district for three more years.
“We believe this revised compensation plan will not only keep us on target in terms of moving towards the top of the compensation market within the region but will provide us with critical ability to retain and attract world-class talent,” House said.
In April, a budget was presented to the board with a proposed plan of teachers getting a 7% pay hike next year. At the time HISD teachers were open to the raise, but argued that it wasn’t nearly enough to keep up with the rising cost of living.
Now, with the current plan in place, HISD is expected to outpace the minimum salaries in other large Texas school districts such as Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and Forth Worth ISDs.
Compensation plans for principals, assistant principals and deans will be updated for staff starting the next school year.
The Defender asked local educators their thoughts about the news. Here are some of the responses.
Coretta Mallet Fontenot
Teacher, Chavez High School
“I’m actually pleasantly surprised. It would make things fair for those coming into education as a first-year teacher and those like myself who have 20+ years experience. It says a lot about valuing educators, clerical staff, paraprofessionals who work in our special education classes, bus drivers, cafeteria workers. It takes all of us to run the school. I hope this will retain teachers, because those of us still here will bear the brunt of potentially larger size classes.
Rennette E. Brown
Vice President of Secondary Schools, Houston Federation of Teachers
“I’ve been in HISD since 1998. I started off as a teaching assistant and then became a classroom teacher in 2006 once I graduated college. My starting salary was roughly $40,000. The last couple of times we’ve gotten raises, 3% here, 4% there…still there was a pay cut because it puts you in another tax bracket and then more taxes come out. We are just living life with inflation. So, for us to get 11% is wonderful, but on the flip side my concern is will there be people who will lose their jobs in order to pay for these raises? How about support staff? I’ll be back at the school board to follow up.”
Career & Technology Middle School teacher, HISD
“I’ve been a teacher for 26 years. I’m grateful that HISD has actually stepped out for once and taken the lead as far as not just teacher pay but employee pay. That’s an excellent start to address the teacher retention crisis that all of the United States is facing. An American crisis that I believe not enough people are paying attention to. There is a lot more work that needs to be done to retain educators. I’m hopeful that HISD will become the leader to properly address these problems head on.”
“I can honestly say it was shocking to hear of this increase based upon the board. The board will introduce one amount and then the Houston Federation of Teachers would shoot for another amount, so to see that it was higher than expected was good. This is my 23rd year in the district and I don’t think I’ve ever seen an increase like this at one time. This might not be considered a downside but I think this came with a lot of influence from surrounding districts and how they were taking initiatives for salary increases…It’s so ironic that doctors and other professions, they wouldn’t be where they are without the foundation from teachers. They applaud us for what we do, but the compensation doesn’t match and this is a good step in the right direction.”
Treasurer, Houston Area Alliance of Black School Educators
“More money is always welcomed especially being in a classroom where you want to feel valued and have a competitive wage where you can live comfortably and not juggle extra part-time jobs or side hustles to make ends meet with the rising inflation. My [concern] is that with these salary increases, will the [health] insurance premiums go up? If so, you might not see a difference in the paycheck and that could be frustrating for anybody.”