Trustees raise minimum wage for hourly staff

STOCK PHOTO happy teachers celebrating.


The Longview ISD Board of Trustees approved setting the minimum wage for hourly employees at $15 per hour during their July 11 regular meeting.

As a result of this new minimum, hourly wages for Longview ISD staff will be adjusted district-wide for all hourly workers.

Dr. James HockenberryDr. James Hockenberry, Assistant Superintendent of District Services, explained that all hourly positions will be reviewed, and "equity adjustments will be applied as necessary or as needed."

"These adjustments are being put in place to recognize the value of all our employees, each and every one of them has a profound impact on student learning in their own way," he said. "We know the cost of living is increasing, yet we also see the importance of their service and the positive impact they have on all of us, especially the children in our care."

Dr. Hockenberry said the exact costs for the measure are still being worked out, but he expects the increase to be "somewhere in the neighborhood of $650,000."

"Hourly employees will see the difference reflected in the September paychecks," he added.

Funding for the pay raise will come from the district's general budget.

Dr. James WilcoxSuperintendent Dr. James Wilcox said this plan has been in the works for some time, as the administration has researched the ongoing upward trends in the cost of living and inflation.

"We recognize the rise in costs has impacted us all, especially those staffers who are hourly, and this is one way in which we recognize the financial impact the current economic climate is having on our hourly staff," said Superintendent Dr. James Wilcox. "Every single person who works for Longview ISD is vital to the educational success of the students in our care."

"Our hope in raising the minimum wage, and the cumulative effect it will have on our hourly staffers, demonstrates that the board and administration truly cares about the financial difficulties many are facing during these challenging economic times," he added.

The board already approved salary increases for district teachers and salary staff during their May 9 regular meeting. Included in the pay bump is a signing bonus of $1,550 to returning employees on the teacher scale, which will be paid out in the September and December pay periods.

Dr. Hockenberry said, prior to the measure, the district's pay scale was "already among the highest in our region, and this new compensation structure ensures that Longview ISD remains a 'destination district' for the best of the best in East Texas."

Please click here to download the resolution and related documentation.

Days Off For Health?

Virgin Pulse AppBoard members approved an amendment to Board Policy DEC (LOCAL) allowing employees the ability to earn a local paid day off each semester in accordance with the District’s Health and Wellness guidelines.

Dr. Wayne GuidryDr. Wayne Guidry, Assistant Superintendent of Finance, explained that staff members who participate in the district's wellness program can, in effect "earn" extra paid days off.

Back in April the board approved partnering with Virgin Pulse to provide a wellness support system for Longview ISD employees. Beginning with the 2022-23 school year, the Longview ISD Wellness Program's mission is to promote and improve employee wellness and reduce health risks through education and wellness activities, goal setting and outreach events. 

Dr. Guidry said the goal of the LISD wellness program is to "engage and empower all individuals to strengthen and maintain their health to enhance their quality of life."

"We're excited to work with a company like Virgin Pulse to help deliver a total health and wellbeing solution for our employees that drives sustainable, long-term behavior change and in building a culture of health and fitness at Longview ISD," he said. 

Funding for the Virgin Pulse system will come from the ESSER III grant program, authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) signed into law in March 2021.

Please click here to download the resolution and related documentation.

2022-23 Budget, Tax Rate

The board also approved setting a meeting and public hearing for 12 p.m. Aug. 31 to discuss, consider, and possibly approve the proposed 2022-23 budget and tax rate.

While the district has reduced the LISD property tax rate for the last three fiscal years, property taxes may increase due to an increase in the value of the property, which is determined by the county appraisal district.

In accordance with state law, the tax rate ultimately adopted at this meeting may not exceed the proposed rate, unless the district publishes a revised notice containing the same information and comparisons, in addition to holding another public meeting to discuss the revised notice.

Local residents are invited to attend and share comments on the proposed budget and tax rate for the coming fiscal year. 

For questions about the budget and proposed tax rate please contact the district at or call 903-381-2200. 

Financial Donations

Board members approved: a donation of $1,000,000 from Keith and Leslie Nance. This donation will be used in the General Fund Balance; a donation of $9,450 from money collected from students for damaged or lost Chromebooks. This donation will be used to repair or replace the damaged devices; a donation of $5,000 from LHS Lobo Tennis Booster Club to offset travel expenses for the tennis teams; a donation of $3,470 from the LHS UIL Film Club for the purchase of a MacBook Pro to use in student productions; a donation of $1,240 from Foster Middle School Athletics Booster Club to purchase new football uniforms; a donation of $400 from E. Well Educational Services to provide student scholarships for the Veterinary Medicine/Sciences Summer Camp; a donation of $150 from the Longview Animal Health & Hospital to provide student scholarships for the Veterinary Medicine/Sciences Summer Camp; a donation of $150 from Austin Bank for Judson Middle School teacher Ms. Amy Bruyere's review cycle classroom incentives; and a donation of $50 from Parents of Student Ambassadors for the Student Ambassador fund at Foster Middle School.

In other business...

During the course of the meeting, the LISD Board of Trustees also:

  • APPROVED Instructional Materials Allotment (IMA) and Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) Certification for 2022-23;
  • APPROVED the Minutes and Board Time Use Tracker for the June 6 Regular Meeting and June 20 Special Meeting;
  • APPROVED naming Mrs. Ginia Northcutt as TASB Delegate and Mrs. Shan Bauer as alternate to the State Convention;
  • APPROVED the Student Code of Conduct for the 2022-23 School Year;
  • APPROVED the 2021-22 3rd Quarter Investment Report;
  • RECEIVED the financial report for May 2022;
  • APPROVED Budget Amendment No. 10; and
  • APPROVED Board Policy Update 119.

For more info

Trustees usually meet in the boardroom of the LISD Education Support Center (1301 E. Young Street), but often set special-called meetings at various locations around the district. The next regular meeting is tentatively scheduled for 6 p.m. Aug. 8, 2022.

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