Board hears raise recommendations

Ector County ISD trustees discussed across-the-board raises for the 2021-22 school year.

During an update on budget preparations Tuesday night, the board heard district recommendations including:

  • A 3 percent across-the-board raise for all salaried employees.
  • Increasing the starting pay for teachers to $57,000 a year. The board recap said the average teacher salary in Texas is currently $47,218.
  • A 4 percent across-the-board raise for all hourly employees.
  • Increasing the district’s minimum hourly wage from $11.21 per hour to $12 per hour.
  • A one-time stipend of $750 paid to all who are employed by ECISD on the first day of school in August 2021.

Superintendent Scott Muri noted that four years ago (2017-18) ECISD’s starting teacher salary was $44,500.

In previous meetings, the school board expressed that one of its priorities is raises for staff members, particularly hourly employees, the recap said.

Chief Financial Officer Deborah Ottmers said funds for all general fund payroll come from the regular general fund operating budget.

“We project revenues based on state templates using various factors. Then we project our payroll expenditures by using staffing ratios and a position control system and various other tools,” Ottmers said in an email.

“We project our other expenditures as well such as contracted services, supplies … and capital outlay.

“Once we have this data summarized, we project how much we can spend on payroll in total and then we can break it down to various raise scenarios. Budgeting is an in-depth process but it helps us know where we can spend our projected funds in the most effective manner,” she said.

In other business:

  • Trustees voted 7-0 to approve a memorandum of understanding with the West Texas Food Bank allowing ECISD to donate leftover/excess food items to the food bank during the school year.
  • Trustees voted 7-0 to approve May 11, 2021 as the date the board will canvass the results of the May 1, 2021 election.
  • Trustees voted 7-0 to approve the redesign plans for Noel Elementary, LBJ Elementary, and Wilson & Young Middle School. The plans were presented to the school board the previous week (at the April 13 workshop).
  • The District received a School Action Fund (SAF) grant to provide customized planning and support to improve teaching/learning experiences for students at campuses that expressed interest in change. Leaders involved a broad spectrum of people – district leaders, school leaders, teachers, parents, students and community representatives – in developing plans for all three campuses. The stakeholders expressed their desire for a growth mindset among students and teachers; opportunities for parents to engage with the school; and strong relationships between teachers and parents. Personalized instruction, with a focus on Blended Learning, is a key component of this work. Blended Learning is defined as a student having some control, in some manner, over his or her own learning. The plans also provide for social-emotional support of the whole child – through mental health supports and after-school enrichment opportunities.
  • Trustees voted 7-0 to approve a 2021-22 TEA PreK waiver allowing the district to hire non-certified teachers to serve 3-year-old students who attend PreK at the Odessa YMCA. The YMCA teachers will have a Texas Rising Star certification and will be coached by a certified ECISD curriculum specialist.
  • Trustees received a report on instructional coaching for teacher support and development. A collaborative effort between the Curriculum & Instruction, Leadership, Talent Development, and Instructional Technology departments is creating a more systemic and more targeted approach to developing teachers. The focus of this presentation was the redesigned description of the Campus Instructional Coach and the Curriculum & Instruction Specialist, two positions specifically positioned to support teachers through an Observation-Feedback cycle. While each has a specific job description, together they will provide job-embedded professional development, support for individual teachers, specialized training, and will work collaboratively to develop the whole teacher, the recap said. Research shows instructional coaching has a greater impact on instruction than almost all school-based interventions; and the No. 1 factor that influences student outcomes is the teacher, the recap said.

Board Meeting recap 04-20-21