PORTLAND – Gregory-Portland ISD teachers and staff got some much needed good news on July 27 as the board of trustees approved a 3 percent pay raise.
G-PISD will invest nearly $1 million for increases this year including an increase in substitute teacher pay from $95 to $105 per day and an increase for bus drivers from $21 to $22 per hour.
“It’s no secret that teachers and staff in our schools work hard every school year, but this year they are really going above and beyond for families,” newly appointed G-PISD Superintendent Dr. Michelle Cavazos said. “They’ve done a marvelous job completely re-envisioning how learning can be achieved in a safe manner, and shown their resolve to adapt to constantly changing guidelines and requirements as they are received from the state.
“We strive to do all that we can for our G-P team because of all they do for our students, and we are thankful to have a supportive school board who approved this recommendation for our employees.”
While pay raises were approved for this year, the district is also taking active measures to address state budget shortfalls projected for the next few years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Cavazos said department budgets are being cut by 4 percent for the coming year, and the district is making strategic decisions to prepare as much as possible.
“For example, through attrition — carefully evaluating positions when someone retires or leaves the district — so that we can determine whether a position should be posted, responsibilities re-shifted, or if we can re-design how we operate to be more efficient,” Cavazos added.
“With state-driven funding formulas and the changing economic landscape, especially in light of COVID-19, school districts cannot always provide annual pay raises. However, we will make every effort to do so when it is possible. We are thankful we were able to do so this year.”
The G-PISD school board heard a financial report during the July 27 meeting, and then voted unanimously 7-0 to provide pay raises for all employees.
Board President Victor Hernandez said, “We understand there may be changes at the state level that could affect all school districts in the coming years, and we may not always be able to provide raises in the future … but our teachers and staff deserve this for all the hard work they are doing right now — and we’re glad to provide it for to them.”
G-PISD said that in addition to the aforementioned increases, all clerical/technical and auxiliary staff will receive a 3.5 percent pay increase. With this adjustment, the minimum pay rate for hourly staff will increase from $11.64 to $13 per hour, and the minimum pay rate for clerical/technical hourly staff will increase from $12.92 to $15 per hour. Also, the pay rate for substitute auxiliary staff has been increased from $11 to $12 per hour.
Administrators will receive a 3 percent raise from the midpoint of their salary schedules. The approved salary investment will be part of the district’s 2020-21 budget, slated for adoption in August.
All increases will be reflected in district pay beginning on or before Sept. 20.
Paul Gonzales is a reporter at The News of San Patricio and can be reached at 361-364-1270, or by email at email@example.com.