The DeSoto Independent School District’s Board of Trustees approved an increase in teacher pay last Wednesday.
The new annual starting salary for first-year teachers will be $58,500. Additionally, veteran teachers will receive a $6,500 raise. Non-teaching staff across the district will also receive increased compensation, and district contributions to healthcare plans will increase across the board.
The new compensation schedule will go into effect this upcoming 2022-2023 school year.
“I think we are in a space of rebirth. We’re in a place where know we’re able to show what we value. That is our teachers. That is our staff,” said Deandrea Fleming, president of DeSoto ISD’s Board of Trustees, per WFAA.
With the new salary schedule in place, DeSoto will be offering the highest teacher pay in the southwestern suburbs of Dallas: DeSoto, Duncanville, Cedar Hill, and Lancaster.
Lancaster ISD’s Board of Trustees plans on meeting later in June. It will also consider raising its starting salary for teachers, according to WFAA.
School districts in the area have had trouble attracting and retaining educators in the last couple of years, part of a broader trend in Texas.
Garland ISD decided to deal with its teacher shortage in the same way as DeSoto, by hiking starting pay to $60,000 annually and raising existing employees’ pay by about 5%.
There are currently more than 10,000 vacant teacher positions at Texas public schools statewide. Given the magnitude of the problem, Governor Greg Abbott ordered Texas Education Agency to create a task force to examine what else districts could do to help recruit and retain teachers.
In a press release announcing DeSoto ISD’s pay raises, the district’s superintendent, Usamah Rodgers, stated, “We know that strong teachers are vital to the District’s ability to offer high quality, responsive instruction that will advance student achievement in DeSoto ISD, and that’s why we chose to invest in creating a competitive compensation package for our teachers.”