MCISD increases pay scales, finalizes budget

“This article appeared in the July 2 issue of the Progress Times.”

Mission CISD approved the $189.3 million budget for the 2021-2022 school year and increased employee pay grades between 2.5 percent and 3.5 percent. The trustees voted in favor of the proposals at the June 23 school board meeting.

As far as budget, three elements calculate the district’s budget — average daily attendance, property values and the proposed tax rate. MCISD’s projected average daily attendance for the upcoming school year is 13,822, an increase from last year’s 13,775. Regarding state property values, the comptroller will not release that information until spring 2022.

The proposed tax rate was also not presented as an action item at the June 23 meeting because the Hidalgo County Appraisal District must certify the values first. The certified property values will be released after July 25, then Administration can present the amount to the board for approval. However, Assistant Superintendent of Finance Rumalda Ruiz reported that the chief appraiser estimates a 6.10 percent increase in values compared to prior years.

MCISD adopted a general pay increase for all starting, midpoint and maximum levels to maintain market competitiveness. For teachers, nurses and other positions listed in the school program professional salary schedule, the employee compensation package is as follows
● a 2.5 percent ($1,450) increase for staff with one to five years of experience
● a 2.6 percent ($1,550) increase for staff with six to nine years of experience
● a 3.5 percent ($2,050) for staff with 10-plus years of experience

The compensation package also includes a 3 percent pay increase for instructional assistants, clerical and auxiliary staff, and a 2.5 percent increase for administrative staff.

With these pay adjustments, Mission CISD is ranked the highest paying district in the area for teachers and bus drivers with starting salaries of $53,700 annually and $16 per hour, respectively. MCISD, PSJA and Donna ISDs tie for the highest clerical starting pay at $12 an hour. Behind PSJA ISD, Mission ranks second in starting salary for auxiliary staff and instructional assistants.

Additionally, the board of trustees approved a $2,000 retention stipend, contingent on approval from the Texas Education Agency. The stipend would be paid out of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief fund — the pandemic recovery grant with specific usage guidelines that need to be approved beforehand. If the stipends are approved, all staff will be paid out in two parts — $1,000 in September and $1,000 in December. The deadline for districts to submit their ESSER plans to TEA is July 27.

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