SAN ANTONIO – The Southside Independent School District is raising the salaries of its employees across the district.
It’s being done as a way to better retain and recruit talent, but it also helps Southside ISD staff fight these financially tough times.
“Well, obvious gas prices. The economy is going up, but everything is. It’s moving and we have to move along with it. So as an employee, as a single mother, I’m happy once that at Southside they’re able to do that for their staff members,” Jessica Johnson said.
Johnson has been with the district for 15 years, and was one of many that was hoping for a raise.
“We are demonstrating how we care, based on the fact that they’re worth their weight in gold and we are demonstrating that we’re going to do everything we can, be good stewards of the money so we can focus on our staff,” Christa Dillard, the federal/financial director of Southside ISD said.
Southside ISD is raising pay for auxiliary staff as well to a $15 minimum wage, and the district said they will now have the highest starting pay for first year teachers in the area.
“We have a $59,135 base rate for our zero experienced teachers, and that means they’re straight out of college, they’re coming to us, or if they’re coming to us out of the private sector,” Dillard said.
New teachers are also eligible for a $3,000 performance bonus. There are no budget cuts for any programs, so where is the pay raise coming from?
“We’re actually leveraging and capitalizing on our federal programs money. It allows us to supplement all of the programs that we’re doing in our general operating fund, as well as allow us to expand on our raises and salaries,” Dillard said.
And as for Jessica, she doesn’t plan on leaving anytime soon.
“With this increase, people will not want to leave. Yeah, we’re getting the raise and incentives throughout the year. I mean, you can’t beat that,” Johnson said.
The raise also helps prepare the district for the expected growth on the South Side. Just this coming fall the district is expecting 400 new students and with the influx of families they want to be prepared with the best educators.