Leander ISD board of trustees discussed teacher pay increases, a new $15 per hour minimum pay for regular employees and substitute teacher pay rates at the April 21 meeting.

The board reviewed an additional 1% salary increase for teachers. For this to happen, the board would have to approve a fiscal year 2022-23 tax rate increase of at least $0.07, and voters would have to approve the tax rate in an election expected to be held in November.

Teacher pay could jump from 2% to a 3% increase, and all other employees would see a 2% across-the-board salary increase in the first pay period of FY 2022-23.

“Somehow over the last decade, we have continued to grow district administration numbers at a much higher percentage compared to inflation and cost of living, but we haven’t adjusted our support staff and our teachers at that same level,” board Vice President Gloria Gonzales-Dholakia said. “I’m wondering if that’s something we’ve ever considered or would consider to try to change the paradigm in how teachers are paid in our district.”

If there was no additional 1% pay increase for teachers and the district went with an across-the-board pay 2% increase for all employees, the starting salary for teachers would be $51,805. With the across-the-board 3% pay increase for teachers, registered nurses and counselors—and a 2% pay increase for all other employees— teachers would receive a starting salary of $52,377.

LISD has not increased substitute pay in five years, district staff said. Substitute daily pay sits between $90-$120, depending on time period, degrees and certifications. The proposed substitute rate that was discussed at the meeting is between $115-$175.

The human resources department’s compensation recommendations included a 2% across-the-board base salary increase for all regular employees, the establishment of a $15 hourly minimum pay, an adjustment to substitute pay rates, and the opportunity to authorize an additional 1% salary increase for teachers.

“Pay teachers more. Make their compensation great,” board President Trish Bode said. “I’d like to have as many teachers as we need for all the positions we need with all the stipends.”

No actions were taken after discussion. The board will consider the compensation recommendations for approval at the next meeting.