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The Spring Branch ISD Board of Trustees approved a 3 percent salary increase for district employees as a part of the Fiscal Year 2014 proposed budget during its regular monthly meeting on June 24. The new budget and salary increase were approved after a second public hearing was held. The salary increase will take effect in conjunction with an employee’s new contract year.
Trustees voted unanimously for the Fiscal Year 2014 proposed budget. The new budget is based on the current tax rate of $1.3945, with no change or increase in that rate. The current tax rate results from a General Fund tax rate of $1.09, plus the Debt Service rate of $0.3045. By law, Debt Service funds cannot be used to support general operations including salaries.
Superintendent of Schools Duncan F. Klussmann, Ed.D., said that SBISD leadership and the Board of Trustees have remained focused on providing salaries and benefits to maintain a competitive position for recruiting and retaining quality staff, and to ensure that all students are prepared to meet the district’s T-2-4 goal to double the number of graduates who pursue and achieve established higher education goals.
The proposed budget preserves student programs and services while focusing on programming priorities in the district’s new T-2-4 Plan. That plan includes an ambitious, stretch goal of doubling the number of students who complete some form of higher education defined as either a highly skilled technical certificate, military training, a two-year associate’s degree, or a four-year college degree.
In addition to 39 new teaching positions, the new SBISD budget funds the following:
- A Highly Gifted Academy to meet the needs of highly, exceptionally and profoundly gifted students in SBISD. An inaugural group of students in K-4 will begin a school-within-a-school academy program at Valley Oaks Elementary School in August.
- An expanded Secondary Dual Language Program open to graduates of the district’s two-way and one-way dual language programs. Students may attend programs at Spring Forest and Spring Woods middle schools in addition to an ongoing program at Westchester Academy for International Studies.
- Related T-2-4 initiatives, including high school Academic Advisors to provide more direct support to students as they navigate the state’s new House Bill 5 requirements on graduation and the college, financial aid and scholarship application process.
- Expanded Norm-Referenced Testing, such as Stanford testing, through seventh grade.