BCISD approves raises for all employees

By Savanna Gregg

Staff Writer

Burnet Bulletin

Burnet CISD educators and staff will receive well-deserved raises for the 2019-2020 school year, after a few changes were approved during the regular Burnet CISD Board meeting held Monday, June 17.

BCISD teachers and librarians will receive a seven percent midpoint general pay increase, and other staff members will receive a five percent midpoint general pay increase. New-teacher salary will rise from $44,500 to $48,100 for the coming school year.

“We are thrilled to provide this level of compensation to staff, and these pay raises would not have been possible without the passage of HB 3 and outstanding planning on behalf of the Board of Trustees and Administration,” said Superintendent Keith McBurnett in a press release issued after the meeting.

The school District was preparing to encounter a recapture payment of $3.5 million, but with the passage of HB 3, the District's recapture payment was reduced to $0. The increase in the State's Basic Allotment for the District was a main component of the change, as was the additional funding of full-day Pre-K and Dyslexic funding.

This was beneficial to the District because they were already providing full-day Pre-K classes while only receiving funding for half-days, and had already acquired Dyslexic Teachers at all campuses from Pre-K to eighth grade.

The District was planning on a revenue of $29.5 million for the 2019-2020 school year, but with these changes came an increase to $31.5 million in revenue, allowing for additional expenditures, including this pay raise.

“Our mission of crafting the future with our students to ensure they are college, career, and military ready is made possible by all of our staff, whether they work in a classroom, a kitchen, or on a bus,” McBurnett said.

Trustees also approved the school District's health insurance contribution to $385 per month, and dental insurance to $25.99 per month, matching the high premium plan. McBurnett emphasized that with this contribution, teachers' pay increases will not be cancelled out by high insurance costs.

“The Board of Trustees has been committed for years to making sure that when staff receives a pay raise, it is not negated by increasing insurance premiums,” McBurnett added.

Burnet CISD strives to look ahead, planning for financial situations in the future. For the 2020-2021 school year, the District plans to increase new-teacher salary to $50,000, provide a four-percent midpoint general pay increase to existing teachers, and a two-percent midpoint general pay increase to other staff members.

These changes have placed Burnet CISD in the lead of many other districts, including those in the Austin-Metro area.

“Outstanding compensation is just one of the ways that we can demonstrate to our staff how much they are valued and appreciated,” McBurnett said. “A major focus of the District's Strategic Plan is to recruit and retain outstanding teachers and staff; we believe offering market-leading compensation and benefits is a key element of that plan.”

Another step in maintaining relationships with staff and students, made possible by this increase in revenue, is the addition of supportive positions throughout the District. An instructional coach will be added along with two instructional partners to each campus, as well as an intervention counselor who will be available to help students deal with various crises.

BCISD will also see a decrease in student lunch prices. Elementary School lunch prices will go down from $2.40 to $2.35, Middle School lunches will fall 30 cents from $2.90 to $2.60, and High School lunch prices will go down from $2.90 to $2.80. Breakfast will remain free to students.

Always looking forward, the BCISD administration expects to see an eight-cent decrease in the BCSID tax rate for the next school year as well, and McBurnett credits that to the diligence of his team.

“Outstanding financial management does not happen by accident,” McBurnett said. “I want to thank our Board of Trustees for the countless hours they have spent in special meetings this spring, and to the Business and Human Resources staff that have worked behind the scenes to bring the compensation and budget plans forward.

“Our entire staff is extremely talented and hard-working,” McBurnett added. “Together, we are committed to making sure students achieve at the highest level possible while living our vision to craft an inspiring future for each student that embodies spirit, pride, and honor.”

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