A year after doomsday predictions of thousands of teacher layoffs across Texas, the Austin Independent School District is going to give its more than 5,700 teachers and district employees 3 percent pay increases.
The raises are part of a $724.2 million budget for 2012-13 that includes a new charter school and charter school and dual language programs and overcrowding reduction, the Austin American-Statesman reports today.
Among the beneficiaries of the pay increase vote are the seven employees in the new Department of Public Relations and Multicultural Outreach. The district created the department with $192,000 in federal taxpayers’ money usually used for academic improvement programs.
Like most of the largest school districts, AISD did not have to lay off teachers. The district reduced the number of teaching positions through attrition, by 6.37 percent, to 5,705 this past school year from 6,093 the year before.
The Austin School Board plan calls for spending $14.2 million from the district’s reserve to pay for the raises in the first year. The board is expected to consider calling for a tax rate election in November to ask taxpayers to decide whether to make the salary increases permanent.
Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or email@example.com or on Twitter at @marktxwatchdog.
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Photo of school bus by flickr user Joffley, used via a Creative Commons license.