CCISD board approves raises for district staff, superintendent
By BRITTANY FHOLER
The Copperas Cove Independent School District Board of Trustees held a special meeting to discuss and approve a salary increase for all employees, including CCISD Superintendent Joe Burns, on Thursday afternoon.
The raises were a result of H.B. 3 passed by Texas legislators, which requires school districts to set aside 30 percent of additional revenue for pay raises, with 75 percent of the 30 percent dedicated to teachers, librarians, counselors and nurses and the remaining 25 percent dedicated to administration staff. Of that 75 percent, preference and deference must be given to teachers with five years of experience and more, according to Burns.
CCISD is expecting to receive about $6.6 million, making the district’s share of the raise to be approximately $1.9 million.
The measure approved Thursday afternoon gives an annual 4 percent raise of $2,300 to teachers, librarians, counselors and nurses with 0 to five years of experience; an annual 5 percent raise of $2,900 to teachers, librarians, counselors and nurses with six or more years of experience; and a 3 percent of midpoint raise for all other employees.
The total annual increase for salaries is $2.369 million, of which $1.9 million will come from new revenue in the funding formula.
Board member Jim Copeland asked whether Burns knew if the state would continue to provide funding for the new raises.
Burns said there is no promise of that and added that the 30 percent requirement applies to any increase in revenue that the district sees.
“The funding formula has lots of new components, and there are many of them that no one can give you the correct answer for them right now,” Burns said.
One component that the district is struggling with is the calculation of poverty, which goes by Census Block Data that is only updated every 10 years. Several kids live at addresses on streets that didn’t exist in 2010, Burns said. The TEA calculated numbers are based on numbers assigned to kids on campus at the campus’ physical address, which doesn’t account for intradistrict transfers.
Another issue is that some of the demographic data the district has is based on the transportation notebook that’s provided by the state to the school district for assigning addresses in the routing software-this state data does not match up with federal census data, Burns said.
These issues all need to be resolved, and the district is working to try and find a way to deal with it.
“There will be adjustments throughout the year,” Burns said. “I just can’t tell you if it’s going to be a good adjustment or a bad adjustment. I can’t tell you if it’s going to be a positive or negative adjustment to the budget. This will probably be the most estimating that we’ve ever done in budget building this year.”
The number that the district is using to calculate pay raises is based on preliminary data, which means the district is being conservative in the amount of the raises being offered. Should the numbers change, the district would prefer to be able to increase salaries in the future rather than ask for employees to return money, Burns said.
The recommendations resulted in the need to adjust CCISD’s pay plans for market value.
The board also approved adjusting the teacher salary placement scale. The new starting salary for a teacher with no experience will be $47,500, and the maximum base salary will be $67,000.
“If nobody else gave pay raises, we’d be really competitive at $47,500 but unfortunately we’re going to see those districts around us, and typically it’s Belton and Temple, that kind of set the tone for what salary is,” Burns said.
The minimum salary for a Texas teacher in 2019-2020 is $33,660, according to the 2019-2020 Minimum Salary Schedule on the Texas Education Agency website.
The board also reviewed and amended the contract for the Superintendent Thursday afternoon, meeting in Executive Session briefly before reconvening to unanimously approve a three percent raise, bringing Burns’ annual salary from $178,000 to $183,340, effective July 1.
“I think all of us agree that if everyone’s getting a little bump, our superintendent deserves a bump too,” said Board President Joan Manning.
Typically, Burns’ salary would be approved and adjusted in January but the board wished to make the changes this month instead of waiting until next year.
“This seems to be the proper time to go ahead and give him a salary increase as well,” Manning said.
Burns thanked the board on behalf of the teaching staff.
“This is probably one of the biggest pay raises- I know it’s the biggest pay raise we’ve given teaching staff since I’ve been here,” Burns said. “It is well deserved. Our folks work very hard so we’re proud to be able to do that for them.”