Thursday, May 28, 2020
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Sharyland-LogoNearly one week since Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law legislation to reform school finance, increase teacher pay and provide property tax relief, the Sharyland school district took advantage of that new legislation to reward their teachers.

During Monday’s school board meeting, the Sharyland School Board of Trustees approved a new compensation plan that saw pay increases for staff members across the district.

“House Bill 3 signed by the governor required districts to utilize 30 percent of the gain in foundation school programs to give compensation packages to all employees,” Ismael Gonzalez, the district’s assistant superintendent for business and finance explained. We went above that to ensure we are rewarding teachers and staff for all the hard work they do at Sharyland.” The pay raises include six percent at midpoint salary increases for teachers, or seven percent if they’ve been teaching for more than five years, a six percent at midpoint increase for hourly employees, three percent at midpoint salary increase for administrative employees, and a four percent increase in employer contribution for health benefits.

“We usually have raises, but not this much,” Gonzalez said. “House Bill 3 is why we’re giving this much, as will everyone else. The state is really taking care of public education when it comes to school finance. As educators, we’re excited to be part of this opportunity to give back to teachers.”

House Bill 3 also calls for school property tax reform due to an increase in state aid that will compress the tax rate, potentially lowering it, Gonzalez said.

The tax rate, which currently stands at $1.37 per $100 of assessed property valuation, will be discussed during an August school board meeting, Gonzalez said.

The school board also approved new LED lights for their softball stadium at Sharyland High School. Musco Sports Lighting, an Iowa-based company, was the sole vendor who applied and will replace the lights for $158,000, according to Gonzalez.

The money will come out of the current school year athletic budget. Originally, the district budgeted $120,000 for the project to replace some of the lights until the district architect recommended all the lighting be replaced, Gonzalez said. He added that the new lighting will be in place by the next softball season.