SCHOOL NEWS

LISD employees could see raises soon

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The Leander ISD board of trustees reviewed a plan that would increase compensation for all district employees, approved the use of unassigned epinephrine on its campuses and considered programs designed to increase participation in extracurricular and cocurricular activities at its board meeting last week. 

The board considered a staff recommendation to increase salaries by 2 percent for all employees as well as increasing the district’s contribution for employee health insurance to $320 per month. The recommendation also includes providing additional dollars for the district’s self-funded medical plan. 

Final approval could come at the board’s June 7 meeting.

If approved, the proposal would increase pay by $1,054 for teachers, registered nurses and counselors. The increase would affect the district’s 2,803 teachers at a cost of about $3 million annually.

The second largest group of employees affected would be 790 office and paraprofessional employees. Those employees would also see an increase of about 2 percent of pay, but employees in that group are also up for an adjustment in salary scale based. The 2 percent increase would cost the district $450,000 annually and the salary scale adjustment would cost another $749,000 annually. 

The board is also considering increasing the health insurance contribution for employees to $320 per employee per month at a cost of $560,000. An additional point in the recommendation suggest the board provide an additional $440,000 towards the self-funded medical plan, nothing “Healthcare costs continue to increase annually and these increases are important to help cover some of these ongoing medical claim inflation costs.”

The district’s website noted that the district proposed adding $1,000,000 to support employee health benefits, “The additional funding will only help offset the annual healthcare inflation costs.  Employees will most likely still see higher premiums for 2018–19 as a result of significant high-cost claims and rising health care costs across the state.” 

Also at the meeting, the board approved the use of unassigned epinephrine pens on district campuses for student health emergencies. The district will create a comprehensive training program for employees administering the program and notify all parents enrolled in these schools. The move puts LISD in line with Austin, Georgetown, Round Rock and Lake Travis school districts, which all have a similar policy. 

Additionally, the school board also reviewed final recommendations form the district’s program advisory committee with the goal of increasing student participation in extracurricular and co-curricular activities. The committee called for expanding middle school STEM opportunities and electives, athletics programs, math competition opportunities and implementing UIL A+ Academics programs. 

Research topics by the committee included dual language program expansion for middle and high schools, orchestra programs, a STEM magnet school and integrating CTE programming into elementary school campuses.

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