By Anton Riecher
An estimated pay increase somewhere between $172,216 and $255,349 for Devine ISD school teachers is recommended in a Texas Association of School Boards pay system review presented to the Devine school board May 16. No action was taken at the meeting.
Keith McLemore, human resources and compensation consultant for the Texas Association of School Boards told trustees that nearly 60 percent of school district in the state participated in the review, including nearly 90 percent of the state’s largest districts.
“The good news is you all are in good shape,” McLemore said. “The market is moving very quickly right now.”
Two separate models aimed at keeping Devine ISD competitive in the hiring of teachers, administrators, clerical and auxiliary personnel called for an estimated total increase above current costs of between $371,516 (2.8 percent) and $501,231 (3.8 percent). The increase includes both a general salary increase and salary adjustments to bring various job descriptions in line with other competing districts.
“Once we get done matching your jobs and getting the market data together we realign your pay structures,” McLemore said. “If there aren’t any pay structures in place you’re building from scratch.”
For administrators, the suggested total increase ranged from $71,132 to $100,579, including salary adjustments. Recommendations for clerical employees ranged from $79,419 to $87,278. Salary increases for auxiliary help ranged from $48,749 to $58,025.
Pay system objectives include establishing competitive salaries for new and experienced employees to aid in recruitment, he said. It also helps retain employees by preventing overpayment or underpayment based on job value.
Strategies in developing pay system control involve assessing job value accurately, keeping pay ranges competitive, controlling the pay spread between job incumbents, accelerate employees to market pay and budget sufficiently for pay increases, he said.
Of four sets of recommendations included in the study, the leading recommendation urged implementation of pay structure adjustments to align with market value, including strong starting salaries and salary midpoints aligned with the market place.
The review also recommended a general pay increase of two to three percent for all job groups to maintain the district’s market position. For teachers, a general pay increase should be calculated as a percentage of market median salary.
For other pay groups, GPI should be calculated as a percentage of an employee’s pay grade midpoint, McLemore said.
The review further recommends that the district provide salary adjustments to address market differences and maintain equity. To do that, salaries should be at least one percent above minimum with targeted pay equity and scale adjustments included.
Finally, the review recommends increasing stipends for hard-to-fill teaching assignments, such as:
• Math/Science: $500 increase times 12 teachers totaling $16,000.
• Special Education: $400 increase times eight teachers totaling $3,200.
• Life Skills: $1,500 increase times six teachers totaling $9,000.
• Bilingual Teachers: $400 increase (number needed varies).
For purposes of the review, Devine ISD was compared to 13 other districts – Charlotte, Dilly, Edgewood, Hondo, Lytle, Medina Valley, Natalia, Pearsall, Pleasanton, Poteet, Somerset and Southside. Selection was based on similarities in market value and district goals, the review states.
After McLemore’s presentation, Board President Nancy Pepper stated that he had given them a lot to think about, and the board moved onto the next agenda item.
By Anton Riecher