MISD trustees approve sweeping pay hikes

School board commits an additional $3.7 million to staffing needs and raises

Bill Spinks
Midlothian Mirror
The Midlothian ISD board of trustees meet in a special meeting last week.

The Midlothian ISD board of trustees approved increasing staff pay for the 2022-23 school year as part of a preview of the upcoming budget during a special meeting last week.

The board approved raises by a minimum of 4% at the midpoint for every pay group. The district compensation plan also includes raising the starting pay for custodians to $14 per hour and bus drivers to $20 per hour. The starting teacher salary will begin at $56,000.

Trustees also approved increasing the district contribution to the health insurance benefit by $20 per employee per month, totaling a $370 monthly contribution. Next month, an increase in rates for substitute teachers will also be taken to the board for approval.

Staff salaries and benefits account for 71% of MISD’s overall operating budget.

"MISD believes in investing in our staff. The hard-working, deserving employees have battled a global pandemic, learning loss, and continue to address the mental toll taken all while encouraging the students to be resilient and persevere. In order to provide a financial recognition of these sacrifices, district leadership has worked hard to evaluate ways to save and consider the best benefits available for our teachers and staff," said MISD superintendent Dr. Jo Ann Fey.

In addition to the staff increases, an expected uptick in revenue because of growth and higher property valuations will also allow the district to pay off bonded indebtedness early and reduce the total tax rate for MISD property owners, district deputy superintendent Darin Kasper told the board. An Ellis County Appraisal District estimate of tax values projects an increase of more than 16%, Kasper said.

District leadership identified more than $720,000 in savings by reallocating resources and exploring ways to save at the district level, according to a news release.

“In MISD, we understand it takes a team approach to succeed, and this initiative was approached just that way,” the district stated. “Midlothian ISD is committed to prioritizing its core investment in employee compensation."

All seven trustees were present.

Other items

• Board secretary and former board president Matt Sanders was recognized for his service to the district as a trustee for the last nine years. Sanders did not seek re-election to another term and will be replaced by Mike Dillow, who won election to Sanders' seat on Saturday.

• Fey submitted the results of a survey of MISD students regarding the city of Midlothian’s parks and recreation master plan. Fey said the biggest takeaway from the results was that students want more places to go and be with other teenagers. The survey was requested by city parks and recreation director Heather Dowell.

• The board reviewed key strategic actions and corresponding measures for the “balanced scorecard” that will be going into effect in the new school year.

• The Servant Leader Subcommittee recommendation for 2022 was approved. Trustee Bobby Soto, the subcommittee chair, said the names were not being announced publicly because the award will be presented at the end of the year.

• Following a closed session, the board took no public action.