Board approves 5 percent pay raise for teachers, staff

STOCK PHOTO - happy teachers celebrating

Longview ISD board members unanimously approved salary increases for district teachers and staff, in addition to setting a time to discuss the proposed 2023-24 tax rate, during Monday night's regular meeting.

Recommended to the board by Ms. Shalona McCray, LISD Chief Human Resources Officer, the measure includes a 5 percent increase for teachers and pay grade midpoint for all remaining employees.

"In addition to the 5 percent increase of midpoint, the district will implement pay structures that adjust staff salaries that improve internal equity and market competitiveness," she said. "In addition, we will be adjusting pay for employees below or above proposed pay grade maximums."

Ms. McCray said the district will also increase the regular daily rate for substitutes from $80 to $150 for degreed-certified subs, $80 to $120 for degreed non-certified subs, and $80 to $100 for non-degreed substitutes. 

Other measures include revisions to stipends and supplemental pay.

"There are some stipend revisions, deletions, and adjustments recommended for certain employee groups to remain competitive within the region," she said. "Longview ISD values our employees and desires to attract and retain the best staff for our students and community."

Please click here to download the resolution and related documentation.

2023-24 Budget, Tax Rate

Later, the board approved setting a meeting and public hearing for 12 p.m. Aug. 30 to discuss, consider, and possibly approve a proposed 2023-24 budget and tax rate.

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

Dr. Wayne Guidry, Assistant Superintendent of Finance, explained that the district is waiting on certified property values from the country before attempting to set the rate.  

"But our hope is that, once again, we can lower the property rate for LISD taxpayers," he said. "Of course, those property value appraisals are out of our hands." 

In accordance with state law, the tax rate ultimately adopted by the district 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. 

Please click here to download the resolution and related documentation.

Officers, Crossing Guards

Trustees also unanimously approved renewing the annual School Resource Officers (SROs) and Crossing Guard contracts with Longview Police Department for 2023-24.

Mr. Scott Fisher, LISD Director of Safety, said the district splits these costs 50-50 with the Longview Police Department, coming at a total cost of $178,025 for campus SROs and $24,968 for crossing guards at six campuses. 

"The board considers this contract for renewal annually," he said. "We've contracted with the City of Longview/Longview Police Department in the past to provide SROs and Crossing Guards for campuses within the district, and we're going to continue to do so in the 2023-24 school year."

Please click here to download the resolution and related documentation.

Choir headed to France? 

Board members also unanimously approved an out-of-country travel request from the Longview High School Lobo Choir to perform in a special D-Day commemorative ceremony in France next year. 

Set for June 2024, Lobo Choir students will experience a once-in-a-lifetime overseas trip to Normandy and participate in events honoring the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

Mrs. Melody McMullen, LHS Choir Director, explained that the trip is optional for students, participation is not required, and no district funds will be used towards this trip, but the organization and students will solicit sponsorships through fundraising events in the coming year. 

The approximate cost per participant is $2500 plus $1,400 for airfare. 

Mr. John Wink, TCIS Chief of Schools, said Mrs. McMullen has led students on out-of-state trips to New York, Florida, and Texas, and "three to four adult chaperones will accompany the students."

"The attending students are active members of Longview High Choir, aspiring to pursue Choral Performance beyond high school," he said. "They are deserving, well-behaved, and familiar with travel guidelines and expectations."

Please click here to download the resolution and related documentation.

Board Policy Update 121

Trustees also unanimously approved Board Policy Update 121, which includes: 

  • CRF (Local) Insurance and Annuities Management: Unemployment Insurance
  • CLB (Local) Buildings, Grounds, and Equipment Management: Maintenance
  • CKE (Local) Safety Program/Risk Management: Security Personnel
  • CVB (Local) Facilities Construction Competitive Sealed Proposals
  • CKEC (Local) Security Personnel: School Resource Officers
  • DEA (Local) Compensation & Benefits Compensation Plan
  • CVA (Local) Facilities Construction Competitive Bidding
  • FFI (Local) Student Welfare Freedom from Bullying
  • CFB (Local) Accounting: Inventories
  • FD (Local) Admissions

Please click here to download the resolution and related documentation.

Superintendent's Report

During the Superintendent's Report portion of the meeting, Dr. James Wilcox received an update on Adjusted Debt to Assessed Value from the LISD Business Office. 

The term "debt to asset valuation" refers to the total amount of the district's debt compared to the value of total assets that are assessed. Net debt to assessed valuation allows investors to determine the overall quality of a municipal bond issue.

According to information provided by Dr. Wayne Guidry, Longview ISD's adjusted debt to assessed value is quite low compared to other school districts in our area (see chart): 

The report also included the latest Campus Data Monitoring analysis, RAPTOR (Rapid Algorithmic Prototyping Tool for Ordered Reasoning) data from the Office of Innovation, and the monthly Community Relations summary. 

In addition, Dr. Wilcox also received presentations from public school charter partners: East Texas Advanced Academies, Longview Educates and Prospers, and Texas Council for International Studies (TCIS).

District Donations

Board members unanimously approved the following donations:

  • $3,250 from Mr. Jeff Hull to pay for the LHS Art Car Club to drive in the community for Lobo spirit and/or to enter into an art show; and
  • $296.50 from Hudson PEP Elementary to cover the accompanist fee for clinical/rehearsal/contest in Canton.

In other business...

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

  • APPROVED additions, revisions, and deletions of Local Policies Resulting from the Policy Review Session Conducted on April 12, 2023, with drafts prepared by TASB Policy Service;
  • APPROVED naming Dr. Troy Simmons as the board's TASB Delegate and Dr. Samir Germanwala as Alternate to this year's State Convention;
  • APPROVED the $73,195.76 purchase of a 2023 Dodge pickup truck from Peters of Longview for the district FFA program;
  • APPROVED Minutes and Board Time Use Tracker for the June 12, 2023 Regular Meeting;
  • APPROVED districtwide T-TESS Appraisers and the 2023-24 Appraisal Calendar;
  • APPROVED the LISD Student Code of Conduct for the 2023-2024 School Year;
  • APPROVED adoption of the National Incident Management System (NIMS);
  • APPROVED The 2022-23 Third Quarter Investment Report;
  • APPROVED Financial Statements as of June 2023; and
  • APPROVED Budget Amendment No. 9. 

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. 14, 2023.

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