Dallas ISD teachers are set for a boost in pay, especially novice educators new to the district.
DISD hopes more money will attract and keep more teachers as the state faces an educator shortage. But the union representing Dallas educators said it may not be enough.
Alliance/AFT, a Dallas-based labor union, is encouraging parents to call the board of trustees and attend Thursday night’s school board meeting.
Trustees are expected to vote on a new budget for the 2022/23 school year where the district has already proposed raising the minimum wage for support personnel workers from $13.50 an hour to $15.00/an hour.
“So whether it’s a bus driver or a child nutrition worker, an office manager, something like that,” said Dwayne Thompson of DISD.
The district moved to increase the hourly wage quicker than initially intended in part to attract workers, said Thompson.
But the biggest ticket item on the budget: Teacher pay.
The latest news from around North Texas.
“We just have to pray that they will do the right thing,” said Rena Honea of Alliance/AFT.
Dallas ISD is in a competitive battle with surrounding districts for teachers, Thompson said. The district is proposing to increase the starting salary of new teachers by 6% to $60,000.
“And that’s to be as competitive as we possibly can to attract teaching staff,” said Thompson.
But not everyone is pleased.
“Our veteran teachers feel very slighted because they’re not getting that kind of increase,” said Honea.
Instead, DISD is proposing a 3% increase for teachers with 10 or more years of experience. The district would also offer a one-time retention stipend of up to $3,200, added Thompson.
Honea said all teachers should receive an 8% to 9% increase in salary just to cover inflation.
“Anything else is really pretty much a pay cut by the time you factor in all of the costs of everything,” she said.
The union representative warns a number of teachers are waiting to see what kind of increase the board passes before deciding whether to stay on for the year ahead or leave the district.
“We could see more people leaving,” said Honea.
The union urges parents to attend Thursday evening’s school board meeting wearing red in solidarity.
“Parents need to really help us with this because their children are the ones that are being affected more than anyone,” she said.
Editor's Note: A statement about staff leaving originally attributed to Dwayne Thompson was corrected to be attributed to Rena Honea. We regret the error.