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Seen and Heard at the June 2019 School Board Meeting

Posted Date: 06/03/2020

Seen and Heard at the June 2019 School Board Meeting

June 17, 2019 -- At the June 17 Board meeting, trustees voted unanimously to approve a substantial $10.3 million employee compensation package for the 2019-2020 school year that includes a 6% raise for auxiliary staff (maintenance and cafeteria workers, custodians, paraprofessionals and teaching assistants); a 4 – 4.8% raise for teachers, counselors, librarians and nurses; and a 3.5% raise for administrators. 

Recent House Bill 3 legislation requires districts to spend at least 30% of new state money on higher compensation for non-administrative employees and to differentiate pay for more experienced teachers.  In the new compensation package, AISD teachers with more than five years of experience will get an additional $500 annual supplement, bringing their raise to about 4.8%.  The Board also approved an increase in the District’s beginning teacher salary - from $48,306 last year to $49,273 for 2019-2020, and they increased the daily rate for substitute teachers to $82 per day for a substitute with a minimum of 60 college hours, compared to $77 last year. 

Trustees adopted a total budget of $316,445,825, up from $298,568,150 last year.  The $6.5 billion in new revenue for Texas public schools translates to about $28 million more in state funding for Amarillo ISD next year.  The 2019-2020 budget includes $2.3 million for new special education positions, $2 million for full day pre-kindergarten to meet a state mandate, and about $500,000 for new dyslexia support positions.  “With this additional revenue, we are able to give as much in raises as we can, hire some additional staff in critical areas, work toward moving from half-day to full day pre-k, and still be conservative in looking ahead to a future of flattening or declining enrollment,” said Superintendent Doug Loomis. 

In other business, the Board considered Administration’s proposal to change the name of Lee Elementary School to Park Hills Elementary School, after the subdivision in which Lee is located.  Trustees plan to vote on the name change at July Board meeting.  The Board also heard a report on hiring practices for administrators and they voted to begin the search process to fill two Board vacancies left by the recent resignations of John Ben Blanchard and Renee McCown.  Those interested in applying for the two 2-year terms may complete an application and submit it, along with a resume and essay, by noon on July 3.

Finally, the Board acknowledged gifts and donations totaling $9,089.60 given to various schools this month from Rebecca and Perry York, the Texas Panhandle Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America, Teri Barber and the Woodlands Elementary Parent Teacher Organization.