LISD budget includes pay raises for teachers, staff


From staff reports

Lockhart Independent School District’s Board of Trustees on Monday approved a budget for 2021-2022 totaling $68.5 million.
Included in the approved budget is the 2021-2022 Employee Compensation Plan, which was approved at its regular meeting in May, that provides LISD teachers and librarians a pay increase between 3-5% based on experience and approved market adjustments. All other school district employees will receive a pay increase equal to 3 percent of the midpoint of their new pay scales. Substitute teachers will see a pay increase of up to 5 percent.
The Board also approved an amendment to the approved compensation plan Monday night that adds a one-time $550 retention and incentive payment to all full-time employees which is contingent on several conditions. Employees must be employed by the district by Oct. 1.
The district must have a total student enrollment of 6,300 students and an attendance rate of at least 95 percent at the end of the first semester. In the event the student enrollment requirements are not met, the district must demonstrate an attendance rate higher than 95 percent in order for new revenue to be created to support the measure.
If the 95 percent attendance requirement is not met, the student enrollment will need to be higher than 6,300 in order for new revenue to support the measure. Substitutes will be eligible for the one-time payment with at least 50 days of substituting by the end of the first semester. Payment would occur prior to the district’s spring break.
“I am grateful to our board for being so engaged throughout this budget process. There were so many factors to consider, even more so as we emerge from a pandemic year,” said Superintendent Mark Estrada. “However, they successfully prioritized the funds in a way that provides students and staff the support they need and deserve while also paying close attention to revenue and enrollment projections in order to serve as good stewards of public resources.”
The district will complement the approved budget with the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER III) one-time federal grant funds to use over the next three years. The Board approved the district’s plan for those funds, which was based upon feedback from district staff, parents, and community members. LISD is prioritizing the funds to hire additional staff to support the social and emotional needs of students, provide targeted academic intervention to address learning loss or “COVID slide,” and continue to accelerate learning to help students reach their fullest potential.
“I also want to thank the staff, parents, and community members who provided feedback in May to help us understand your concerns and priorities in planning the use of the ESSER funds to benefit our students,” Estrada said.


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