Teacher Pay Raise Cost Districts Big - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Teacher Pay Raise Cost Districts Big

School districts across the state are now battling an extra debt.. After legislators pass a bill that will cost schools more than 100 million dollars.

The state has a minimum salary for teachers... Around 27 thousand dollars.

The state pays six and a half percent of that salary into the teachers retirement fund. If a school district pays a teacher more than the minimum... The district pays into the retirement fund based on the difference between what the district pays and minimum salary.

State legislators voted in 2006 to give teachers a 25 hundred dollar pay raise.. Across the board.

This is just an example, but here is how it works. The state standard for teachers is that they couldn't make less than 27 thousand dollars on average, but AISD was paying, lets say about 40 thousand dollars. So when you add the increase of 25 hundred the state mandated, that means each salary rose. Now the state is at $29,500, but aisd is paying $42,500 and they can't lower that cost.

The increase leaves Amarillo ISD owing more than a million dollars this year... And from here on out.

AISD Superintendent Rod Schroder says, "That cost will be a cost we have to calculate and add to the continuing budget."

Even though State Senator Kel Seliger says he voted for the increase... He says the 100 million dollar cost to school districts could have been used better.

"I don't think it was anybody's intended circumstance that along with this teacher pay increase that the school districts get a bill too. A million dollars a year would employee several more teachers and every school district could use that, or laptop computers or curriculum development, all number of things. We have to be careful next time we have such a law." Seliger says.

The school have the option to appeal the decision and go to court. AISD says they are unsure if they would be part of that lawsuit if one arose.

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