This article originally ran in the July 1 issue of Progress Times.
For the fourth year in a row, Mission CISD increased teacher salaries by more than $1,000 and now sits above the market median for teachers at all experience levels. The board of trustees also approved a 3.5 percent midpoint increase for all other employees at the June 22 school board meeting.
“We set out four years ago to work on this and we are fulfilling our promise,” Superintendent Dr. Carol Perez said.
When Mission CISD interviewed Perez for the superintendent position in 2018, she said one of her main concerns was the high staff turnover, and she wanted to address it in her first year as the district leader.
“We had about 12 percent [turnover rate], especially teaching staff,” Perez said. “In looking at the data, I stated that a lot of it had to do with compensation.”
At the time, Mission CISD’s pay rate was below the market median, especially for teachers with 10 to 15 years of experience. But over the last three years, the district has taken a multi-tiered approach to pay raises and improved overall teacher pay at the different years of experience.
Mission CISD conducted five efficiency and staffing studies, and through attrition, the district was able to build the fund balance and increase teacher pay by rates they had not seen since at least before the 2010-2011 school year, if ever. MCISD also provided competitive raises to non-teaching staff in that timeframe.
During the 2019-2020 school year, Mission CISD closed the overall salary gap and surpassed the market median for teachers with zero to five years of experience. By 2020-2021, Mission CISD exceeded the market value for salaries for most levels of teaching experience; those at the 15-year mark were at market value. For the 2021-2022 school year, all teachers received another raise, and a $2,000 retention stipend, which the district provided to all employees.
Earlier this year, the Texas Association for School Boards surveyed 25 school districts in the region and found Mission CISD was 6.4 percent above the market median for teacher pay. And still, Mission CISD continues working to remain competitive with other school districts in the area.
“As the market continues to change in comparison to our peers, we continue to work with the Texas Association for School Boards to look at the data because our goal is to keep a highly qualified staff,” the superintendent said.
For the 2022-2023 school year, the employee compensation plan improvements are as follows:
- A $2,000 increase for all teachers
- A 3.5 midpoint increase for all other employees
- And a $1,000 retention stipend, which will come from the Elementary and Secondary School Relief fund
Additionally, the board approved an overall equity pay adjustment for all employees to ensure veteran employees are paid fairly compared to newer employees.
The total cost for the general pay increase and retention stipends is $7,137,583. The school board approved the compensation plan in a 6-0 vote without any discussion; Minnie Rodgers was not present for the meeting.