Copperas Cove ISD board approves substitute pay increase

By BRITTANY FHOLER

Cove Leader-Press 

 

The Copperas Cove Independent School District Board of Trustees approved an increase in substitute teacher pay during their regular meeting Tuesday evening. 

District staff presented the board with two options, Plan A and Plan B, during their workshop meeting the day before on Monday. The board approved going with Plan A. 

In 2020, the board approved a substitute pay increase for the 2020-2021 school year, which ended up being the first of its kind since at least 2012. This increase had bumped a non-degreed short-term substitute’s daily pay rate from $68 to $75 and a degreed short-term sub’s pay rate from $80 to $85, while a certified degreed short-term sub saw an increase from $85 to 95. 

The increase also bumped the daily pay rate for long-term subs, from $85 to $100 for a degreed substitute, while the daily pay rate for a long-term certified degreed sub remained at $150. 

Plan A keeps the daily pay rate for an instructional aide at $58, while the pay rate for a substitute teacher with no degree increases to $105 for a full day. For a teacher with a degree but no certification, the daily pay rate will be $115 per day for short-term substitutes and $135 for long-term subs. A certified and degreed teacher will see their daily pay rate increase to $130 for short-term subs and $180 for long-term subs. 

Plan B would have increased the daily pay rate for substitute instructional aides to $60 but would have kept the daily pay rate the same as it was in 2021 for certified and non-certified substitute teachers. Plan B would also have included a Substitute Incentive Plan, where substitutes working in Teaching positions would receive an incentive for the Fall and for the Spring semesters. For those who worked 90 to 100 percent of days, the incentive will be $1,500 per semester. For those who worked 80 to 89 percent, the incentive will be $1,250 per semester. The incentive drops to $1,000 per semester for those who worked 70 to 79 percent of days, and down to $750 for those who worked 60 to 69 percent of days. 

According to the district, long-term substitute pay begins on the 11th day of consecutive subbing. Substitutes who work a half-day would receive half of the daily pay rate. 

With this pay increase, substitute teachers in Copperas Cove can start off with a daily pay rate that is a little bit higher than that of the pay for Killeen ISD’s subs. Killeen ISD’s substitute pay starts at $80 per day for aides, $75 per day for secretaries and $90 per day for classroom teachers. If those individuals have a four-year degree, that daily pay rate increases to $85 per day for aides and $100 per day for classroom teachers. State certified aides would have a daily pay rate of $90, while state certified classroom teachers would have a daily pay rate of $115 or $125 if long-term. 

The board approved components to finish the district’s R.I.S.E Program. 

Superintendent Joe Burns said that this action item is one of the final components needed to continue with the program. The CCISD R.I.S.E. (Rising Instructors Soaring in Education) Program provides a way for district paraprofessionals and other hourly staff to become certified teachers in CCISD.  

“I need to give kudos to Amanda Crawley [Deputy Superintendent of Instructional Support] for working diligently on this,” Burns said. “We have been seeking ways to augment teaching staff. Districts across the state of Texas are struggling with staff shortages, and universities are wonderful partners, but they have a very, very tenuous process for adapting to emerging needs because under state guidelines, it takes them two to three years to get something processed to the point that they can see an outcome.” 

Crawley began working with existing partners to try and develop and expand the district’s program, Burns added. 

“We’ve got a Grow Your Own Program here for more years than I’ve been here but not quite like we do now,” Burns said. 

With this program, CCISD can hire current paraprofessional or hourly staff to serve as Instructional Interns in the district, while they are earning their college degree and teaching certification. They then commit to work for CCISD for a period of three to five years. 

CCISD has previously approved partnerships with CTC, Indiana Wesleyan University and TeachWorthy Texas for this type of program. 

The fiscal impact for this item is an estimated tuition cost of $7,020 per teacher. 

“Right now, we have about 20 or 25 people in the district who would be eligible for that program if they chose to pursue that,” Burns explained. “In the R.I.S.E. Program, we have a component for high school students who want to obtain teacher certifications, work through high school and get those credits that they get in college. We have a pathway for folks who have no college hours, and they want to become a teacher, and they can start from scratch and work through the program. Then you have this component we’re talking about tonight, for people who have some college credits, can work through this program, obtain their degree and then their teacher certification to become a teacher. We also have a pathway in the R.I.S.E. Program for people who already have a degree and are certified, can work on their master’s degree.”

The board also approved interlocal agreements with the city of Copperas Cove to share facilities and for the providing of police services at Copperas Cove High School. The changes to the agreement for use of facilities included the adding “City Park and South Park Pools year round for official swim team use and CCISD staff events” and “use of golf course and driving range during the summer for Junior Golf Camps sponsored by CCISD.”

The new agreement for police services is good for the 2022-2023 School Year and provides for two full-time certified police officers for Copperas Cove High School, for a period of 52 weeks. The cost of services for this school year includes an increase of $1,523.00 from last year, due to increased costs for equipment and uniforms. 

The board also approved agreements with Central Texas College for the 2022-2023 school year for EMT and Hospitality Management/Culinary Arts Dual Credit Agreements and an Adult Education Program (Literacy) Memorandum of Understanding. 

The board also approved an agreement with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Texas for the joint use of facilities, allowing the BGCTX to offer after-school care at Copperas Cove Junior High School and S.C. Lee Junior High School during the school year. 

The board also approved an agreement with the Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) Killeen, which allows the ASYMCA to offer before and after school care at all CCISD elementary campuses.

The board approved increasing the cost per meal for the student travel meal allowance, from $8 per meal to $9 per meal, to accommodate rising food prices. 

The board also approved several purchases exceeding $25,000 including the purchase of Education Galaxy educational software bundle for $37,187.50, Sharon Wells Math curriculum and training for grades 2-5 for $46,440, the purchase of SchoolMint Hero educational software for all secondary campuses for $46,302, networking and access control for Hettie Halstead Elementary for $101,503.51 and video surveillance upgrades with Enterprise Security Solutions exas, Inc. for $144,609.95. 

The board approved the 2022-2023 Student Code of Conduct, which has no changes compared to last year’s Code of Conduct. 

The board also accepted a donation of a 1.98-acre tract of land that borders existing CCISD property on Big Divide Road, from Wesley and Mike Atkinson of Belpas, Inc. This property will 

The winners for the Convocation T-Shirt Design Contest were also revealed during the Recognition portion of the meeting. 

Gwendolyn Gray, of Copperas Cove High School, took first place for her design which implemented the district’s hashtag for the 2022-2023 Convocation which is #CCISDRISEUP. Jackie Ritz, of Copperas Cove Junior High, took second place, with her design featuring a student holding balloons that are floating or rising up. Sarah Schoonover, of Hettie Halstead Elementary, took third place for her design which featured the words “Rise Up” with a background of sunbeams. 

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Copperas Cove, TX 76522
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