Victoria school board passes pay increases
June 20, 2013 at 1:20 a.m.
Updated June 21, 2013 at 1:21 a.m.
Victoria school district employees will soon have a bit more money in their pockets.
In a unanimous vote that garnered a round of applause Thursday night, the Victoria school board passed a $1,500 general pay increase to the district's teachers, principals, librarians, registered nurses and administrative staff. The district's classified and paraprofessionals received a 53-cents-per-hour increase.
Board member Bernard Klimist told those present that he wished the amount was more and said the entire board thinks every teacher, administrator and worker in the district is likely underpaid.
"Hopefully, we'll continue this trend in the future," he said about the increases. "In spite of what we get from the other towns, VISD's going to continue supporting our teachers and our employees."
Budget workshops will continue through July, Superintendent Robert Jaklich said, noting the board will approve the budgets and tax rate in August.
The district's current proposed salary budget is $81,927,354.
Jaklich said the district sits in a healthy place financially, and he will not request any tax rate increase to meet with the salary increases.
Upcoming changes for the 2013-14 school year also joined the conversation Thursday night.
Susanne Carroll, the district's executive director of curriculum instruction and accountability, said extended hours will join the mix next year, offering students an extra 30 minutes of instruction per day. That adds up to 150 minutes a week, she said, or an additional 11.25 days per year.
"Thirty minutes a day can make a huge difference in the impact of instruction," Carroll said.
Among other changes, Sherri Hathaway, associate director of curriculum instruction and accountability, said the high schools will implement an optional eighth period. This extended learning time, she said, offers a chance for credit recovery, tutorials, interventions or other assistance students might need.
Some teachers can begin their work days during second period and work through eighth, she noted, to keep the district from paying for extra duty.
Hathaway admitted the upcoming year will be filled with change but said it isn't simply for the sake of change.
"Everything we're doing is very focused and purposeful, without a doubt," she said. "And we truly believe 'every child, every classroom, every day.'"