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Northside ISD Cuts Starting Pay For Teachers As Part Of Cautious 2020-2021 Budget

Provided | Northside ISD

Trustees for the Northside Independent School District voted Tuesday evening to reduce starting pay for teachers by $335 for the upcoming school year.

This slight cut will ensure that teachers with one year of experience still earn more money than new teachers. Aside from a few exceptions, the compensation plan approved by the board does not include raises.

The plan is part of a cautious budget recommended by Northside’s finance department during uncertain economic times.

“We have two goals with this budget,” Woods reminded trustees before they voted on the plan. “The first is to provide the highest quality instruction to our students that we could possibly give them. And the second is to preserve jobs for teachers and other staff in the long-term.”

Even with the cut, district officials said Northside’s new starting pay of $55,110 dollars is higher than any other district in Bexar County.

According to Woods, Northside made a similar cut in starting pay when the state cut education funding in 2011.

“I hate us moving backwards on the beginning salary,” Trustee M’Lissa Chumbley said after Woods reminded them of the precedent, “But I know that our superintendent… and everyone involved in this would like to give a pay raise this year.”

Woods and Rene Barajas, the district’s deputy superintendent for business and finance, said a mid-year salary increase could be approved in a budget amendment if the financial outlook improves.

The total increase in the 2020-2021 compensation plan is $354,000, with raises for some clerical staff, transportation dispatchers and maintenance workers to maintain the district’s position at 90% of the market rate.

Trustees also approved a reduced growth and improvement package for the 2020-2021 school year. Northside’s final budget will be approved in August, when the district ends its fiscal year.

Clarification: This story has been updated to make it clear that the market-based raises approved by the compensation plan do not apply to whole job classes.

Camille Phillips can be reached at Camille@TPR.org and on Twitter at @cmpcamille.

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