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Wednesday, October 5, 2022
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FWISD Lowers Budget and Increases Salaries

Education

Fort Worth Independent School District | Image by NBC DFW

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Forth Worth ISD employees will return to the classroom with some extra money in their pockets this year. On June 28, the Fort Worth Board of Education approved the 2022-2023 school year budget, which included pay raises for all its employees.

The upcoming school year will bring a 4% pay raise for educators. While teachers’ salaries will increase, how much they will receive has stipulations. For instance, a first-year teacher with a bachelor’s degree will earn $60,000. Teachers with a master’s degree will receive an annual stipend of $1,400, and those with a doctorate will receive $3,000.

Except for increases of 6% at the midpoint for para-professional hourly employees, all other employees will receive a raise of 4% at the midpoint. All full-time hourly employees will receive at least a minimum of $15.00 per hour and a $2,000 stipend.

For the second consecutive year, a portion of the district’s funding will come from federal taxpayers through the federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) fund established as part of the American Rescue Plan, which Congress passed in March 2021. The district will have access to a total of $261 million of taxpayer money through the program’s end upon completing the 2023-2024 school year.

FWISD lowered its 2022-2023 operating budget to $819,514,450 million, down 5.6% from $865.5 million in 2021-2022. The reason for the decrease in the budget is that projected enrollment for this coming school year has declined.

FWISD plans to use 58 cents of every taxpayer dollar on instruction, totaling $451,199,513. An additional $97,629 is slated for the juvenile justice alternative education programs. At the same time, 19 cents per dollar will be spent on instructional support, such as instructional administration, guidance counseling, health, social work, and extracurricular activities.

In addition, $12,988,454 of taxpayer money has been earmarked for security and monitoring costs.

According to the annual FWISD report, the district services 76,858 students. The district expects to spend approximately $10,662.71 per student during the 2022-2023 school year.

The 2019 state of Texas STAAR percentage showed that 78% of students reached “approaches grade level or higher.” In contrast, 67% met the same criteria in 2021.

In the FWISD, only 67% of students met the criteria in 2019; in 2021, that percentage fell to 50%.

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