RISD Adopts Teacher Raises Ranging From 3-30% or Higher

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RISD Adopts Teacher Raises Ranging From 3 – 30% or Higher
Emphasizing the critical need to attract and retain experienced teachers, Richardson RISD Trustees voted May 2 on a 2024-25 compensation plan that provides educator salary increases between 3% and as high as 30% or more for teachers with decades of experience.

“Our north star goal as a school district is student academic growth, and no position has a greater impact on advancing that goal than our teachers and professionals who work directly with students each day,” said Superintendent Tabitha Branum. “This action of our Trustees moves RISD from the bottom half of districts in our area in terms of teacher pay to among the highest, and along with other aspects of our compensation package, will allow us to be extremely competitive in not just attracting outstanding educators to RISD, but keeping our talented teachers right here.”

The action resets the RISD “T-Type” salary schedule (teachers, counselors, librarians, and nurses) to substantially increase the year by year compensation, with the effect of financially rewarding educators at higher levels as they accrue more experience. 

Employees must meet performance standards to receive a salary increase, and other employee positions will receive a 3% raise for 2024-25. Trustees agreed that other positions were also deserving of higher compensation increases, but the financial situation this year makes further expansion of the compensation plan not feasible. 

“This action was only made possible through our aggressive efforts over the last 18 months to identify cost reductions and operate more efficiently, including the school consolidation plan,” said Branum. 

“As a public school district, we have an obligation to our community to ensure that we are aligning our limited resources with student academic growth,” said RISD Trustee Megan Timme.  “I’m proud that tonight we took a huge step in that direction, and our teachers deserve this.”

Watch the compensation discussion and vote 

See 2024-25 compensation info for existing staff and new hires

Learn more about RISD budget planning

Lean more about teaching in RISD or apply for a position


Original Post – April 19

Continuing 2024-2025 budget planning discussions at the April 18 work session, RISD trustees discussed compensation increases for teachers and other employee types. Trustees’ previous discussions this winter and spring have focused on operating budget reductions, increased efficiencies, and budgetary areas with anticipated cost increases (learn more).

“Attracting, and most importantly, retaining our high quality educators is our budget priority,” said Superintendent Branum. “It is essential and critical that we have the best educators and support staff available, working in concert to support our students’ academic growth. The need to become and remain competitive for top teachers and staff was the primary driver of the work of our community budget steering committee and is the primary reason we have had to be so aggressive in cost reductions and maximizing our operating efficiencies.”

Options A & B
District staff presented trustees with three scenarios for next year’s compensation packages, and the corresponding annual costs. Two scenarios (Options A and B) are more traditional compensation structures, with “T-Type” raises (teachers, nurses, counselors and librarians) ranging from 2.5% to 3.75% based on years of service. Both scenarios would keep RISD teacher salaries in the lower range among competing districts for staff with fewer years of experience and at the bottom for staff with more years of experience. All three options include an hourly increase for custodial staff to $15/hour. Options A and B are estimated to cost between $11.1 million and $12.7 million a year.

Option C – Resetting RISD Teacher Salary Structure
The third scenario (Option C) reflects a paradigm shift in salary structures for RISD teachers, and would reset the district teacher salary schedule to increase compensation steps between years of experience, thereby rewarding years of experience at a substantially higher level. The net result for T Types under Option C would be salary increases between 3% and up to 34% based on years of experience, and projects to place RISD among the higher-compensating school districts in our area for educators up to 10 years of experience, and the highest paying school district among peers for teachers with 15+ years of experience. Other employee types would receive a 3% increase. Option C is estimated to cost $18 million a year.

“Currently, the salary difference between a first year teacher and a 25 year teacher in RISD is about $6,500 a year,” said Branum. “That is simply not an incentive to stay in our district or remain in the classroom. The current teacher salary schedule is the result of years of compression in our salary model and not differentiating how we reward our more experienced educators.”

“While more expensive, Option C offers an opportunity to directly align RISD’s financial resources and priorities with our north star goal of student academic growth. For the first time in decades, all our teachers would have a financial incentive to remain in the classroom, doing what they excel at and love, rather than eventually leave the classroom or the profession to seek increased earning power. We want to attract and keep the best available educators in RISD working with our students, and Option C, along with the other elements of our compensation package, goes a long way toward that.”

Trustees initial reaction was supportive of Option C, but no decision or vote was taken. Trustees requested additional information, including multi-year financial forecasts, to be able to continue the discussion and take possible action at the May 2 regular meeting. Trustees are expected to adopt the 2024-25 operating budget in June.

View the April 18 Compensation Presentation

Watch the presentation and discussion

Learn more about RISD budget planning

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Trustees Reorganize, Discuss MAP Data, Teacher Survey, Cell Phone Policy

At the June 6 board work session, RISD shared two end of year performance metrics with trustees, including end of year MAP results and data from RISD’s annual climate survey of teachers, which informed a discussion about the district’s cellphone-free policy for students. In addition, trustees were sworn in and reorganized for 2024-25.