Dallas school officials offered the first glimpse Thursday of a plan to offer raises to teachers in the district.
At a budget workshop, officials proposed spending $30.1 million on salary increases for certain teachers and raising the salary for new hires.
The proposal calls for increasing the number of distinguished teachers, high-performing teachers who receive higher base salaries, by 300 to 500. District officials are also calling for board-approved raises for teachers who fall above a certain performance threshold and raising the salary for new hires to $54,000 per year.
Of that $30.1 million total, $17.1 million would come from dedicated money that was included in the district's 2018 tax ratification election. The remaining $13 million would come from money state lawmakers allocated for raises for teachers and school staff.
Last week, Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen announced a school finance deal that included about $2 billion for pay raises. Patrick said veteran teachers across the state should expect to see raises of about $4,000. The deal also gives districts additional money to give out to their best teachers.
The proposal came during the Dallas ISD board of trustees' annual budget workshop, during which district officials lay out their projected revenue and proposed budget. The board will discuss adjustments and changes to the proposed budget at a meeting next month.
Also during Thursday's meeting, district officials proposed a plan to ramp up their racial equity efforts, including offering more teacher training and other support services to 22 schools identified under a district racial equity funding program.
In December 2017, the district passed a racial equity resolution, acknowledging the ongoing impact of school segregation and working to fix those problems. Months later, the board approved a budget for the 2018-2019 academic year that included a $2 million allocation for the district's newly formed racial equity office.
This year, district officials are proposing a budget that would more than double the office's budget, allocating $5.75 million for it. Officials have identified racial equity efforts as the district's highest priority.
Pam Lear, the district's chief of staff, said the budget proposal includes money for strategic staffing, extra duty pay for teachers who provide extra support for students and money for teacher professional development.
District officials also hope to hire six additional instructional coaches to work with teachers at those 22 schools. Stephanie Elizalde, the district's chief of school leadership, said instructional coaches are already in place at schools across the district. Several at-large coaches also work district-wide, she said, but those coaches are stretched thin. Hiring more coaches to cover those 22 schools would help ensure teachers there get the support they need, she said.
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