The Dallas School Board unanimously approved a $1.16 billion budget for next year, smaller than this year’s amount because of state funding cuts. Trustees also plan on giving teachers a raise, but not for another year.
Despite the DISD’s billion dollar plus budget, Dallas and nearly every district in Texas say it’s been a tough year financially. That’s because the state cut education dollars by $5.4 billion last year. So Dallas’s 2012-2013 budget is $23 million smaller than the year just ended.
The District closed schools, laid off employees and cut some salaries and stipends. In consultation with incoming Superintendent Mike Miles, Trustee Eric Cowan proposed a resolution to increase teacher pay two percent for the 2013-2014 budget. Board President Lew Blackburn offered an addition.
Blackburn: If you don’t mind a friendly amendment to that, that we look at possibly looking at an across-the-board minimum two percent with the exception of our chiefs.
All trustees okayed the motion, including Nancy Bingham.
Bingham: I think this is something we need to do because our teachers do work hard, all of our folks work really hard.
Only the superintendent and his top chiefs won’t get that raise, assuming the money’s there from the state next year. Rena Honea was pleased. She leads Dallas’ largest teacher organization, The Alliance/AFT.
Honea; I can tell you employees are disappointed a pay increase was not included this year, because they worked all last year without a pay increase as well. But to know the board is asking, in the form of a resolution, to have a pay increase, to plan for it, that will be encouraging to them.
Honea says that’s when she plans on demanding at least a three percent, not two percent pay raise for her members who will be teaching larger classes, while taking on more responsibility with salaries that will not have budged two straight years.