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LA-JOYA-LOGOLA JOYA – La Joya Independent School District will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, Aug. 14 at 5:30 p.m. to discuss their proposed budget and tax rate. The meeting will be held at Central Administration at the Nellie Schunior Staff Development Center, 200 W. Expwy. 83.

The board will discuss budget proposals including a district natatorium and salary increases.

The proposed natatorium would be 37,500 square feet and include three separate bodies of water with an eight-lane competition pool, a competition diving well with two one-meter diving boards, and a shallow learn to swim pool. Plans also include a location for a future three-meter diving platform. The building would also include a spectator area, offices, classroom, student locker and changing areas, storage areas, weight room, training room, first aid room and public restrooms. The district is looking at bidding out on the project in August 2014. Preliminary estimates put the anticipated project cost at about $9.5 million. The construction schedule would take 12 to 14 months after school board approval and awarding of the bid.

Salary increases proposed include a $2,000 increase for 2,053 teachers. The raise for teachers alone is just over $4 million. Other increases proposed are a 3.5 percent salary increase for 68 non-teaching business professional and 354 non-teaching instructional professionals. An hourly increase of $1 is proposed for 867 clerical/technical and 948 manual trades positions. The total of all pay increases would be just over $8 million. Increases are being made per TASB recommendations. Also per TASB recommendation, employees at or above the maximum salary will not receive a raise. The increases are based on a 207-day average, 8 hours a day and does not include the increased cost of benefits or new hires.

LJISD is still looking at starting pay for teachers with zero years of experience. Currently, the proposed budget includes a starting pay of $43,400.

Other budget proposals include additional positions, repairs, paving projects, vehicles, and renovations.

Tax rates will remain the same.

A board meeting will be held after the public hearing.

Alfredo Vela, assistant superintendent for administration and finance, said the board should be approving the 2013-2014 district budget at the board meeting.

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