Katy Edition | July 2022


teachers and employees, whose delivery of high-qual- ity instruction, learning and service [to] our more than 90,000 students and families, [is] invaluable.” That investment, according to the Texas American Federation of Teachers, is desperately needed. “If we want to keep dedicated, qualied teachers and sta in our public schools, we have to give them the respect they deserve, including wages that reect their worth, reasonable workloads and overall work- ing conditions that support teaching and learning,” Texas AFT President Zeph Capo said. “Districts around Texas are struggling to ll vacancies with large urban districts like Houston and Cy-Fair still looking for hun- dreds, even thousands, of teachers to ll classes.” Budget eects In response to the concerns, the board tabled the item and revisited it in a special meeting on May 26, when they unanimously approved midpoint pay grade increases of 5% for all classroom teachers and hourly employees, as well as a 3% raise for other dis- trict sta for the 2022-23 school year. That general 5% midpoint pay grade increase resulted in a $3,600 pay increase for all teachers, bringing the starting teacher salary for KISD to $60,700. Ocials said the raise, which should keep the dis- trict on track with meeting the market median for the upcoming year, could put the 2022-23 proposed bud- get at an approximately $12 million shortfall—KISD’s rst budget acting at a shortfall since the early 2000s. “I can’t speak specically … on how much the full decit would be to the budget that we bring in August, ... But I can say [the raise is] going to be part of that decit of $11.5 million, $12 million or $12.2 million—somewhere in that range,” Superintendent Ken Gregorski said. KISD Chief Finance Ocer Christopher Smith cited options for making up the decit, including increasing class sizes at secondary campuses, utilizing federal funding, reducing the budget and reducing programs. Another proposal to help make up the shortfall is a voter-approval tax rate election, Smith said. If voters approved one in November, KISD would be able to increase its tax rate for more revenue. District ocials were unable to provide additional information on a potential VATRE, but while payroll is driving the shortfall, other elements—like ination— are also inuencing the budget, Gregorski said. “[We are seeing cost increases associated with] everything that we’re paying more for, whether that’d be a carton of milk or supplies or a paper product—you name it,” he said. “We’re all feeling that pressure in public schools. ... All of this went into the decit.” Additional budget details will likely be made avail- able at a board meeting in July or August, according to district ocials. For now, the budget’s future is unclear, but Gregorski did say at a June meeting that there could be a chance to reduce that shortfall. “Our goal [is] during the next budget cycle ... to examine [budget items] that we could either reduce, eliminate or do [dierently, so] we would be able to come back to the board the following year with a bal- anced budget,” he said.


plan, which spans from 2022-24, is used across the district to set priorities, according to KISD. In the 2017 plan, the district established eight goals, each with its own milestones, which aimed to dictate how to best focus resources. The new plan comes as KISD’s rst-ever strategic plan, established in 2017 with a ve-year lifespan, comes to an end. “Our strategic plan helps our district set priorities and ensures that sta, the board and community are working toward common goals that impact student success and outcomes,” board President Lance Red- mon said in a June message to the district. In the most recent plan, the district identied 20 new milestones to work toward those eight goals. Since KISD presented the new milestones at a May 16 meeting, ocials said the topic of teacher retention— Goal Five in the plan—could lead to a potential $12.2 million budget shortfall for the 2022-23 school year. Teacher retention Goal Five, which aims to attract and support high-quality sta and create a culture of sta reten- tion, has three milestones in the plan—one of which is to implement a compensation plan for classroom teachers that exceeds the market median. According to district data, KISD teachers are slightly less experienced than the state average, but receive $1,000 less annually. KISD teachers have 11.1 years of experience on average with a state average of 11.2 years. KISD teachers have about 6.8 years of experi- ence in the district specically, compared to the state average of 7.2 years in one district. In the 2021-22 school year, KISD’s rst-year teachers were making $57,365 with a market median of $58,500. At the May 16 meeting, some trustees cited Goal Five in their decision to postpone a vote on teacher compensation to a May 26 meeting, saying teachers were not being paid enough under the proposed plan. On May 16, Brian Schuss, KISD’s chief human resources ocer, recommended a 3% general pay increase to maintain the district’s position, which he said was 3% behind in compensation compared to nearby districts as of the meeting. However, that 3% would not take into account the raises other districts will be implementing for the 2022-23 school year, leaving KISD behind in compensation again. In Lamar CISD, rst-year teachers were paid $59,500 during the 2021-22 school year. In 2022-23, that num- ber will increase by 2.5% to $61,000. In Cy-Fair ISD, rst-year teachers were paid $58,500 during the 2021-22 school year, and next year that gure will be $60,500—a 3.4% raise. “This is a two-year plan,” trustee Dawn Champagne said at the May 16 meeting. “So in order for us to get to [implementing a teacher compensation plan that exceeds the market median] in two years, we can’t still be 3% behind this year. In other words, in two years, then we’ll have to give, like, a 6% raise.” In an emailed statement, district ocials cited investment in sta as a priority. “Investing in Katy ISD’s hardworking teachers and sta is a board and district priority,” said Andrea Grooms, chief communications ocer, via email. “The 2022-23 compensation plan is one way the dis- trict continues to sustain the support it provides to its

One of the goals in Katy ISD’s new strategic plan focuses on attracting and supporting high-quality sta and promoting sta retention. In June, KISD approved 5% midpoint pay grade increases for classroom teachers and hourly employees, bringing KISD closer to the market median. Teacher tenure at Katy ISD Texas average teacher tenure


3 6-10 years 4 11-20 years 5 21-30 years 6 Over 30 years 1 year teachers 1 1-5 years 2







Tenure at KISD







Cy-Fair ISD: $58,500 Lamar CISD: $59,500 Katy ISD: $57,365 Houston ISD: $56,869 Market median: $58,500* 2021-2022 While the 2022-23 school year budget for Katy ISD has not yet been drafted, sta payroll accounted for the majority of the district’s budget during the 2021-22 school year.

87.8% of all of 2021-22 expenditures was payroll

WHAT IS A VOTER- APPROVAL TAX RATE ELECTION Cy-Fair ISD: $60,500 (+3.4%) Lamar CISD: $61,000 (+2.5%) Katy ISD: $60,700 (+5.8%) Houston ISD: $61,500 (+8.1%) *NOT YET AVAILABLE FOR 202223 2022-2023

A property tax rate comprises two elements: 1 Maintenance and operations rate 2 Interest and sinking rate SOURCE: LAMAR CISD, CYFAIR CISD, KATY ISD, HOUSTON ISD COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER Voters who approve a tax rate election allow a district to add additional cents to the maintenance and operations portion of its tax rate to increase revenue. The district had a tax rate of $1.3517 per $100 property valuation in the 2021-22 school year. KISD has not proposed its tax rate for the 2022-23 school year.

For more information, visit communityimpact.com .



Powered by