Upon final approval at the Aug. 28th special meeting, average teacher salary for Longview ISD will stand among the highest in the East Texas region.

Trustees OK $8.2 million in raises for teachers, staff

Mon Aug 12, 2019

Longview ISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved an aggressive pay increase for teachers during their regular meeting Monday, August 12 at the district administration building.

The measure includes sweeping revisions to the pay structure for district staff, totaling more than $8 million. Upon approval of the 2019-2020 budget on Aug. 28, average teacher salary for Longview ISD will stand among the highest in the East Texas region.

Chief Financial Officer Joey Jones said, if the proposal receives final approval at the Aug. 28th special meeting, LISD teacher salaries are expected to "increase by at least $6,700 on average."

He added that part of the rationale for the plan is to "improve market competitiveness of salaries for existing staffers, as well as for potential employees who are being recruited to the district."

Under the new plan, base salary for teachers with zero years of experience increases from $40,280 to $47,200. Base salary for teachers with five years of experience increases from $42,280 to $49,280. Base salary for teachers with ten years of experience increases from $44,680 to $51,680.

For teachers with 25 years of experience, the base salary increases from $51,120 to $58,520.

Jones said the new pay scale could go into effect as early as the September 2019 pay period. 

The $11.6 billion House Bill 3, signed June 11th by Gov. Greg Abbott, included funding for teacher raises, but Superintendent Dr. James Wilcox said LISD is committed to "going above and beyond for our teachers."

"It's important to note that every dollar as allocated by House Bill 3 goes toward raises for our teachers, the minimum $2.6 million as required by the bill," he said. "But we didn't stop there. We actually tried to quadruple that amount, and then went into local funds to give raises to the many other hard-working staffers in our district."

While the highest raises of more than $7,000 will go to the district's experienced teachers with 20-plus years of experience, Wilcox said every other full-time employee can expect a nice bump of around $3,000.

"This is part of an ongoing effort to take care of the many amazing people who take such good care of Longview Independent School District," he said.

House Bill 3, which was passed by the 8th Texas Legislature this year, is a school finance bill which helped with the decrease in property tax rate. More money is intended to provide money for state classrooms, cut local property taxes and increase teacher compensation.

The board approved a proposed decrease on the property tax rate for homeowners during their July 15th meeting. The proposal would see the price will decrease from $1.513 per $100 valuation for 2018-19 to $1.443 per $100 valuation for the 2019-20 school year.

A special meeting is set for 12 p.m. Aug. 28, during which the public will get to voice their thoughts. The meeting will see the administration recommend that the board formally adopt the proposed 2019-20 budget as well as approve the budget. At that time, the board will make their final decision.

In other business...

During the course of the meeting the LISD Board of Trustees also approved agenda items allowing the Boys & Girls Club to continue on district campuses, a 2019-20 agreement with SeeSaw Children’s Place, renewal of facility use contract with Child Evangelism Fellowship, as well as the 2019-20 LISD Student Code of Conduct, and various programs from Read 180 and System44 for LISD Students with reading difficulties (including Dyslexia).

The board later approved TASB unemployment compensation coverage, comprehensive insurance coverage, the 2019-20 LISD emergency operations plan, and the purchase of two trucks from Peters Chevrolet of Longview for $32,756 each. The vehicles will be allocated for use by the LISD Maintenance Department.

For more info

Trustees usually meet in the boardroom of the LISD Education Support Center, 1301 E. Young St. The next regular meeting is tentatively scheduled for 12 p.m. Aug. 28th.

For more information about the Longview ISD Board of Trustees please click here.