Dallas ISD approves $ 1.8 billion budget that raises minimum wage, funds discipline system overhaul
Dallas ISD’s $ 1.8 billion budget will raise the district’s minimum wage, fund a discipline overhaul, and help students tackle the COVID-19 learning slide, but won’t grant not to the teachers the salary increase they wanted.
Administrators approved the 2021-2022 budget on Thursday evening, which provides for a salary increase of between 2.2% and 2.6% for most teachers, less than many had wanted.
Members of one of Dallas ‘major teachers’ unions, Alliance-AFT, flocked to the boardroom to demand a more generous raise for employees.
Educators and staff in Dallas “went above and beyond the call of duty and performed gracefully under fire,” said George Rangel, executive vice president of the Alliance. “Compensate them accordingly. Do the right thing, board members.
Alliance members wanted a 7% increase for teachers to offset stagnant salaries and inflation in the cost of living during the pandemic. They asked for a 5% increase for support staff as well as a bonus of $ 1,000.
Councilor Joyce Foreman asked staff Thursday night if an allowance would be possible later in the school year. CFO Dwayne Thompson responded that the district could assess whether a bonus would be possible after the end of the current fiscal year.
Other neighboring districts have granted retention bonuses to staff, including the Duncanville and Lewisville CIOs. Several teachers pleaded with administrators on Thursday to consider such a bonus if they did not give teachers a bigger pay rise.
DISD officials noted that there would be additional pay opportunities for teachers working on campuses with extended academic calendars or summer programs.
The adopted budget will increase the district’s minimum wage from $ 12.12 to $ 13.50. It’s a step toward setting a minimum wage of $ 15, which the district hopes to achieve by 2025, Thompson said previously.
The minimum wage increase affects approximately 7,300 employees, including teacher assistants, food service workers and guards. The increase will cost the district $ 19.5 million.
The new fiscal year begins July 1 and marks a period in which Dallas ISD – flush with federal aid – will attempt to close the learning gap of the pandemic.
The district is expected to receive approximately $ 785 million from the federal government and is expected to spend a large portion of it by September 2023. The money will fund an ambitious initiative to bring 1,800 tutors into the classroom and extend the school year to offer more teaching time to a number of campuses.
“It is important to remember that [federal] the funds will only provide one use funding that needs to be used over a very short period of time, ”said Susana Cordova, deputy district superintendent.
In recent months, school leaders feared they would have to dip into district savings to pay for their efforts to help students recover from pandemic disruptions. But this spring, state officials alerted school districts they could access millions in federal aid.
The district plans to soon launch a public dashboard detailing how DISD will spend federal funds.
With board approval Thursday night, DISD is formally dedicating funds to overhauling its disciplinary system, effectively eliminating suspensions for most offenses.
The district will replace suspensions both in and out of school with assignments to ‘reset centers’ on campus, spaces designed to remove students from harsh environments and provide opportunities for work. behavior problems.
The move comes as part of a district-wide campaign to correct racial disparities. Black students are disproportionately represented in disciplinary data nationwide and at Dallas ISD.
In the 2019-2020 school year, for example, about 52% of DISD’s extra-curricular suspensions were among black students, who made up only 21.6% of the student body.
The new budget allocates $ 4 million to overhaul the disciplinary system. DISD’s board also approved an updated student code of conduct on Thursday evening that codifies discipline changes.
Property tax rate and state funding
The DISD property tax rate is expected to decrease as property values have increased.
The rate should be set at $ 1.27 per $ 100 of assessed property value, down from $ 1.29.
Dallas ISD is also expected to owe more recovery payments to the state.
Much of the funding for Texas public schools comes from local property tax revenues. The state operates a clawback system – commonly referred to as’ Robin Hood ‘- which requires’ asset-rich’ districts with higher land values to submit payments to the state which are then redistributed to ‘asset-poor districts. “.
DISD is considered a “rich in goods” neighborhood. It will pay the state about $ 58.6 million in the 2020-2021 school year, which is an increase of about $ 39.5 million from the previous year.
Journalist Talia Richman contributed to this article.
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The DMN Education Lab is a community-funded journalism initiative, with support from The Beck Group, Bobby and Lottye Lyle, Communities Foundation of Texas, The Dallas Foundation, Dallas Regional Chamber, Deedie Rose, The Meadows Foundation, Solutions Journalism Network , Southern Methodist University and Todd A. Williams Family Foundation. The Dallas Morning News retains full editorial control of Education Lab journalism.