NEWS HEADLINES

District to pay for 4 off days

By Jimmy Alford | Published Wednesday, February 19, 2014

{{{*}}}The Paradise school board unanimously agreed Monday night to compensate PISD workers for four of the six instructional days the district was closed due to snow, ice and cold temperatures.

Wintry weather caused most schools in the area to miss more instruction days than is typical. Paradise will absorb two of the six missed days with some rescheduling. In April, the district will apply to have the other four missed instructional days waived.

Superintendent Monty Chapman proposed the resolution to pay the employees for the missed days, citing in the resolution that it is in the public’s best interest to compensate people. The resolution said the district would also benefit by boosting morale and reducing employee turnover.

PAY GRADE CHANGES

Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) human resources consultant Matthew Levitt met with the board prior to the regular meeting to discuss teacher pay grade recommendations.

During the regular meeting, the board opted to table any decision on changing pay grades until the March 24 meeting.

According to Levitt, PISD’s teachers and administration pay is below market and needs to be raised to remain competitive and attract good teacher applicants.

Levitt’s report compared PISD to other schools in this market – but not the Metroplex, where teacher and administration salaries are far higher.

A beginning teacher’s salary in Paradise is about 13 percent lower than the market average. Five-year and 10-year teachers’ salaries are 9 percent and 8 percent lower. Chapman said current PISD teachers’ top-end salaries are at $55,650.

If the board were to raise pay grades in line with TASB recommendations, beginning teachers would see the largest bump, going from 87 percent to 93 percent of the average market.

Trustees voiced concern about beginning teachers’ salaries, saying PISD has several teachers approaching retirement age and might be hiring for several positions in the near future.

The district has gone several years without seeing major turnover. In the past 15 years, the most teachers hired in Paradise was in the 1999-2000 school year, when the board approved 34 contracts. The next-highest was in 2004-2005 when 27 new contracts were approved.

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