PFISD Board approves 3% Raise plus possible 3% increase with VATRE Approval in November
On Thursday, June 1, the PfISD Board of Trustees approved the district's compensation increases for the 2023-2024 school year. This year's compensation package is a milestone for the district as it was approved with two possible phases. In addition to a comprehensive 3% raise for all employees, the Board also approved up to an additional 3% raise for all employees, contingent upon legislative action and voters approving a Voter Approval Tax Rate Election in November 2023.
"Our district is facing its largest challenge yet due to increasing inflation, being subjected to recapture, and a decrease in state funding," Superintendent Dr. Douglas Killian said. "Despite these immense challenges, our administration has recommended, and our Board has approved a 3% raise for all employees."
With this increase, the district's starting Teacher Salary will increase to $55,000 per year. Upon approval of the VATRE, the starting Teacher Salary will increase up to $56,700. Salaries for the district's roughly 3,500 employees comprise 86% of its annual district budget, and the raises approved by the Board will drive the upcoming year's budget.
PfISD will utilize multiple cost-saving initiatives to support this salary increase in the upcoming year. These include a 5% reduction in department and campus budgets, moving staff out of portable buildings, eliminating software such as Panorama Surveys and Powerwalks, and more. In addition to this 5% reduction in department budgets, all district departments have also cut their budgets in the 2022-2023 and 2021-2022 school years.
Although Pflugerville ISD has almost 26,000 students enrolled, the current funding model from the state is based on average daily attendance numbers. Since returning to the classroom during the COVID-19 pandemic, the district has seen a significant decrease in average daily attendance compared to the years before 2020.
PfISD Board Members and Superintendent Dr. Killian have spent countless hours at the Texas Capitol this past Spring, sharing information with legislators and advocating for a $900-per-student increase in the Basic Allotment, which serves as the primary education funding from the State of Texas. Additionally, the district advocated for an increase of $100-per-student to the Safety Allotment. Currently, no bill has been approved providing any increase in the Basic Allotment.
Skyrocketing inflation is another significant contributor to the district's budget difficulties. Due to a substantial increase in property values, PfISD is now in recapture and will be required to send roughly $20 million back to the State of Texas this year. Despite these rising property values, the district will not see an increase in funding due to a cap on how much funding the district receives per student.
"We know our staff members feel the rising costs in Central Texas every bit as our District," Dr. Killian said. "Although there is no way for our district to keep up with the skyrocketing cost of living, we knew we had to provide as much of an increase as possible for our staff members. I hope our staff understands the budgetary stress the district faces and can appreciate the efforts to provide a raise that so many deserve this year."