HISD interim superintendent hopes to revisit teacher pay raises

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Teachers across Texas are beginning the school year with extra money in their pockets after state lawmakers passed mandatory pay raises in May, but they differ from district to district.

Katy ISD teachers are getting a 6 percent across the board pay raise and some have the chance to earn pay raises of up to 8 percent.

Meanwhile in Spring ISD, counselors, nurses and librarians will be receiving a 3.5 percent raise, while others will receive a two percent raise. Teachers will receive a 4 to 6 percent raise, depending on experience.

READ MORE: Spring ISD announces teacher pay raises for next school year

New teachers in Spring Branch ISD will earn $57,000 a year. Its new budget also includes raises of 6 percent to 9 percent for teachers.

Sheldon ISD is including a 10 percent to 15 percent raise for teachers. Beginning salaries for new teachers will increase to $58,500.

"I like checking out data, so I was checking all the districts like, 'That's cool, Cy-Fair is getting this, Barbers Hill is getting this, Sheldon is getting this,'" said Chad Whiteley, a Sheldon ISD teacher.

Christopher Williams is a Houston ISD history teacher, but his district approved pay raises smaller than what teachers in Sheldon ISD will get.

In June, HISD approved its budget, along with a $2 an hour increase for minimum wage workers, bringing their pay to $14 an hour.

The proposed budget the committee was considering included pay raises between 3.5 and 8 percent for employees, including teachers, counselors, nurses and librarians, depending on years of service. HISD teachers with more than 25 years of experience will receive an extra $5,400.

The budget also asks for a retention bonus, but no raises for staffers making above $75,000.

READ MORE: HISD board approves $14 minimum wage in 5-1 budget vote

Even though Williams is going into his 13th year of teaching, his salary will be less than Whiteley's and that includes his raise. He knows other teachers in the same situation.

"They want to do better for themselves financially," said Williams. "At the same time, they've put in so much of their time, their energy, their money, their heart into the schools that they've taught at, they don't want to leave, so they feel really torn. I certainly feel that way."

HISD interim superintendent Dr. Grenita Lathan says the issue of teacher pay raises will be revisited.

"We still need to go back to the table," she said. "I think HISD is around 5th or 6th in our surrounding districts as it relates to starting teacher pay, so we'll still be revisiting that."

RELATED: Interim superintendent Dr. Grenita Lathan tackles criticism of HISD leadership

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Dr. Grenita Lathan says HISD schools are headed in the right direction, in spite of 21 campuses given a 'F' rating and sharp words by the mayor.

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