Huntington teachers say pay rate is unequal in Angelina County - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Huntington teachers say pay rate is unequal in Angelina County

ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) -

Huntington ISD officials are speaking out about the impact of this year's budget cuts.

"It's not apples to apples for Angelina County," said Huntington Superintendent, Eric Wright.

Teachers say they aren't receiving the same pay as those in nearby districts.

"It's unfortunate because our teachers do a great job, and they are expected to teach the same curriculum and have the same standards that every other school in Texas has. And yet, we don't get funded the same," said Wright.

Wright says Lufkin ISD receives 5 thousand dollars per student in the district, compared to the 47 hundred his district receives. However, Lufkin Superintendent, Roy Knight, says his district is suffering too.

Knight says LISD is operating on a baseline budget to pay teachers.

"Take money out of our own local rainy day fund," said Knight.

Knight says Lufkin has also increased class sizes, and teachers have not received annual raises for this school year.

"We can't continue like this. We've already eliminated some programs that are beneficial to student learning," said Knight.

Knight says legislators cut 2.8 million dollars from their budget this year. Wright says Huntington ISD has been cut by 400 thousand dollars with another 400 thousand dollar cut expected this year.

"That's what makes it even more difficult, you know. The teachers want a pay increase while we're getting a decrease from the state," said Wright.

Wright hopes the community will take the time to vote this year, as he works internally to try to mend the situation.

"We're going to look at all of our salary schedules, and we're going to look at stipends. And, we're going to try to compare with the other school districts in hopes that the state will somehow rectify the situation and give us more money," said Wright.

Last year Huntington cut 18 staff positions, but they say no cuts should be expected this year. Wright says should the legislature decide to allot schools more funding, he would look at raising the teacher pay scale. Until then, there's not much the district can do.

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