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SAISD board contemplating largest salary increase for the district in 25 years
The San Antonio ISD Board of Trustees discussed staff compensation during its budget workshop last night. On the table is the single largest salary increase – in absolute dollars – the district has offered its staff in 25 years. The compensation initiative recommended for next school year will total almost $20 million, and more than half of this allotment will benefit teachers.

In comparison, previous compensation packages have cost the district $14.9 million in 2022-2023, $13.8 in 2019-2020, and $13.1 in 2013-2014.

“The overarching objective is to offer staff a compensation package that leads the regional market, while remaining within the limits of a five-year plan for a sustainable budget,” said Superintendent Jaime Aquino, during the budget presentation. “The district has absorbed large expenditure cuts in order to be able to afford this compensation package.”

The recommended compensation initiative is sustainable, in large part, due to tough cuts made by administration at the non-campus, district level. Central Office budget reductions equaled $16 million in 2022-2023, and an additional $6.5 million will be made in 2023-2024. 

“Given our current financial situation, the cuts made by administration have been significant and caused sacrifices to be made,” said Board President Christina Martinez. “However, there has been much discussion and thoughtfulness in keeping students and teachers at our center and ensuring these budget reductions do not affect our children receiving a high-quality education.”

“We hope our board’s action in considering this package sets an example for state legislators as they determine how to spend an unprecedented surplus,” Martinez said.

The board’s consideration of this compensation package is coming earlier this year to demonstrate a commitment to district staff.

“We are proud to consider this compensation initiative and to make a decision in April,” said Vice President Alicia Sebastian. “We want staff to know how much we value them.”

“We cannot do the hard work of educating our children without the dedication and talents of our amazing staff. We want them to know we hear them, we see them, and most of all, that we truly appreciate each and every one,” Sebastian said. “We are standing up for them.”

The recommended compensation package makes adjustments to the compensation scales for career teachers and classified workers who historically have been underpaid. It also introduces stipends for math teachers, speech and language instructors, and hard-to-staff schools.

Should the state legislature mandate a staff compensation increase during its current session, the district will make any adjustments to compensation to meet the requirement. However, any new revenue resulting from legislative action will contribute toward maintaining this compensation increase, rather than being layered on top of it. 

The strong relationship the district has cultivated with the San Antonio Alliance has resulted in union leadership agreeing to this stipulation. 

“Our members have spoken passionately about the importance of a pay raise to attract and retain high-quality staff in every role. This compensation package represents a significant investment in the people who educate, feed, transport, and support our students, and demonstrates SAISD leadership’s commitment to school workers – the heart of the SAISD familia,” said Alejandra Lopez, president of the San Antonio Alliance.

“We’re excited to continue collaborating on district plans to ensure that our students receive the high-quality education they deserve. That means paying school workers the pay they deserve, and we’re proud that SAISD understands the centrality of school workers to the success of Always Learning and the future of our district,” Lopez said.  

Always Learning is the district’s five-year strategic management plan, which was implemented this spring after an extensive and inclusive process.

The SAISD Board of Trustees will vote on the staff compensation package at its April 17 meeting.

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