LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Lufkin Independent School District administrators hope the decision to increase salaries keeps the district competitive.
At a Tuesday night board meeting, trustees unanimously approved $1.4 million in teacher raises for the 2014-15 school year.
"We need to pay teachers well for the job that they do, so when we looked to do the raises we had to come up with ways to be a little leaner in our day to day operations," said Lynn Torres, Lufkin ISD's assistant superintendent for curriculum.
District officials said the raises were funded by state revenues increasing by approximately $525,000, not having to fund $770,000 in capital gains like the district did in 2013-14, and various saving measures in human resources.
"We looked to keep the changes away from the classroom," Torres said. "We looked to cut positions through attrition that might not be needed. I think we were in a situation where we had more staff then we needed, and by that, I mean auxiliary staff."
After 102 staff members either retired or left the district, administration officials were able to combine several positions, leaving 83 vacancies.
"We look to fill all of those," Torres said. "We didn't lay anyone off."
District leaders said the salaries needed to be raised as a way to keep competitive with Nacogdoches, Hudson, and Diboll school districts.
"We looked at the districts we were losing teachers to, and we compared our salaries on those steps with those districts, and then we just made them comparable," said Charlotte Bynum, LISD's chief financial officer.
Torres said that parents should not have any issues with staff changes.
"I don't think parents will notice any differences in the way the school functions based on the services provided to their students," Torres said.
To see the new LISD pay scale, you can click here.