Comal ISD teachers and staff will see a four-percent increase in their paychecks for the 2022-23 school year.
At a special board meeting Tuesday, trustees approved a compensation package that also includes a $1.16 per hour increase for bus drivers.
In December 2021, salaried staff received a three-percent pay increase while hourly employees got a $1.50 per hour pay increase.
“With this pay increase, I believe we are moving in the right direction when it comes to compensating our teachers and staff members who work tirelessly for our students every day,” said Jason York, president of the Board of Trustees. “I am thankful for the passage of the Voter-Approved Tax Ratification Election (VATRE) as it is enabling us to be able to offer this increase.”
Kate Fraser, a teacher who works in the district and is a frequent critic of administration policies, said she appreciates trustees’ willingness to increase the VATRE pay raise to include an additional one percent and hopes it’s the beginning of a more-intensive effort to bring Comal’s staff pay into alignment with that of surrounding districts.
“With other area districts, like Hays ISD giving a seven-percent raise, we are not gaining any ground as a district in having competitive compensation for teachers and staff,” she told MyCanyonLake.com.
On Comal ISD’s Facebook, page, she said Comal is “no longer a destination district but a stepping stone.”
“This is not who we are and not what our children or staff deserve,” she said.
On the same thread, another user commented Comal ISD should not be proud of paying its bus drivers less than they could make at Buc-ee’s.
“Comal residents are seeing our property taxes increase by the maximum allowed by law (10 percent), and you’re going to pay bus drivers less than they could make at Buc-ee’s?” he asked. “No wonder my children have gone five weeks this year without bus transportation…and I’m sure even more before the school year is finished. You should be ashamed of yourselves.”
Comal ISD Supt. Andrew Kim received a $48,000 pay raise at the Jan. 27 board of trustees meeting.
Trustee Russell Garner said Comal is historically conservative when developing annual budgets.
“In fact, the district has been transparent with its budget and kept it balanced,’ he said. “I feel that our teachers and entire staff deserve this four-percent pay increase.’
At a previous meeting, trustees approved a new health insurance plan for the upcoming school year, which gives 75-percent of district employees a decrease in health-insurance premiums.
In a statement, Comal ISD spokesperson Salwa Lanford said the district also is increasing its contribution to employees’ health-insurance costs from $390 to $400.