LOCKHART, Texas - The Lockhart Independent School District Board of Trustees has approved up to 8 percent pay raises for teachers and double-digit raises for hourly employees.
The historic compensation plan was approved at the LISD Board meeting Monday evening. The new compensation plan is in response to the staff’s urgent needs for higher pay and increased monthly savings in health insurance, according to the school district.
Teachers will receive up to 8 percent in pay raises with an emphasis on rewarding veteran teachers for their valuable experience and years of service, according to Lockhart ISD. This makes Lockhart ISD one of the highest-paying districts in Central Texas for veteran teachers with years of service from any school district.
Clerical paraprofessional staff will receive up to a 37 percent increase. Auxiliary staff will receive up to a 28 percent increase in pay. Administrative professional staff will receive an increase of 3 percent of the midpoint of the new pay scale recommended by the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB).
In addition to increased pay, Lockhart ISD also announced that it will provide a compensation package that includes self-funded health insurance, moving away from the Texas Retirement System’s health insurance plans to its own service called Lion Care. The movement to this model results in savings of $21 - $1,559 per month, depending on an employee’s current TRS Active Care health insurance plan.
Employees who already moved away from the TRS Active Care plan to the Texas School Health Benefits Program will save between $24 - $213 per month, according to the school district. The employee-only plan remains free.
"The goal of the school district in this budget was to focus on having a LockHeart for People in caring for its staff," said Chief Financial Officer Nicole Dean. "We are very proud to offer a plan that increases pay at historic levels while also saving our staff money with reduced monthly costs on health insurance."
Lockhart ISD also announced that it would be adding positions to provide special education, behavior, gifted and talented, and counseling support for students. The district said it is providing a mental health counselor for staff in response to feedback at a recent staff forum.
Lockhart ISD is also creating a greater substitute capacity with designated daily substitutes assigned to campuses regardless of pre-planned staff absences.
"At a critical crossroads for public education, and with many staff experiencing hardship and no shortage of choices for employment, it was important to the Board and our leadership team to make sure we took care of our people so they didn’t have to make difficult choices, and we could keep talent in this district to benefit our students," added Superintendent Mark Estrada. "While this is a great first step, we commit to continuing the hard work to ensure our compensation package leverages every ability to utilize the funding provided by the state."