EPISD teacher pay raises

The other day we had a conversation with an EPISD employee who works in a school, not the central office.

She indicated that her personal opinion was that the “teaching staff” should get a 10% pay raise.

Not possible

School finance in Texas is very complicated.

From a local property tax perspective school districts are allowed to set two tax rates, one for operations and maintenance (O&M) and the other for debt service (interest and sinking fund).

EPISD essentially cannot set an O&M property tax rate above $1.17 per hundred dollars of property valuation.

EPISD has currently set their O&M rate at $1.07.  At that rate their 2016-2017 budget anticipates bringing in $165,104,344 from the O&M portion.  Raising the rate to the maximum of $1.17  would bring in another $15.4 million dollars.

Cost of raises

The district has approximately 4,000 teachers.  The starting salary for a first year teacher is $44,900.  We don’t know what the average salary is so we will do our computing using the lowest (least paid) pay rate.

A 10% increase would amount to $4,490 per teacher.  The cost to the district would increase by more than that because of benefits, but we will leave that out of our cost computation.  The raise of $4,490 multiplied by 4,000 teachers comes to $17.96 million dollars.

The district could only raise another $15.4 million in local property taxes and that would take facing a roll back election from the voters.

The district simply cannot raise taxes high enough to pay for  a 10% teacher raise unless they cut costs elsewhere.

Declining enrollment

In this article last year the Times delivered more bad news for the teachers:

Trustees said the 1.5 percent raises were all the district could afford now, as student enrollment declines.

School districts receive state funding based on attendance, so fewer students means fewer dollars.

Unless the district cuts their other costs don’t look for big pay raises for the teachers.

We have a basic marketing question here.

Will parents choose to send their children to EPISD schools because of shiny new buildings or because of the quality of education offered?

We deserve better



13 Responses to EPISD teacher pay raises

  1. Waamber Alert says:

    Waamber Alert!! TX. Missing Superintendent! Missing since the Emperors of EPISD decreed the massive $45,499 raise! Hasn’t returned the money or made any publicized appearance of any kind since that day. Is he throwing a tantrum or can he just not show his money-grubbing face because he knows teachers ain’t gettin’ nada this year?

    And that Spicer-speech made by Chief of Academics Brown at the Assistant Principal meeting last week! The wifey was there and threw up in her mouth because they were told how much the Sup deserved the raise because without it he won’t stay!! She told them all to shut up and row.

    And the new reorganization…the fourteenth one…no joke…since the Sup got here! There were ‘Interim ‘ promotions and some demotions of some good people… Looks like the Sup only likes sheep.

    Surprising things coming soon…

    Off the chain!


    • Chico says:

      ChupaCabrera. You’ve heard about him, but you never see him at a campus … unless it’s a football game.


      • Dan Wever says:

        First of all, declining enrollment. How much does it cost to educate the students that you no longer have. All employee positions are taken care of through attrition.
        18 million dollars for teacher raises and can’t afford it. Where do think that the fund balance came from and what is it now? I am sure it is over a hundred million dollars. Does the public know that the Superintendent gets an automatic raise every year which is the same percentage raise the teachers get. That is why the Superintendent’s salary has increased over 6..4 percent or over $18,000 the last 3 years. The trustees like to give the same raise to all employees. 2.5% is a lot less for an 187-day teacher than the same for a 227-day administrator. If the reason for not giving teachers a better raise is that there is no money then why have the administrative salaries outpaced teacher salaries by thousands of dollars? How did their jobs become worth more money that what the teachers are worth?
        The EPISD is a Patron peon district and always has been with the Super acting as Pharaoh
        Question: If the superintendent took all of his sick days and vacation days allowed as benefits in his contract every year, how many days would he work at the EPISD? Answer 181 days, teachers are scheduled at least 187!


  2. I worked for two years as a school nurse (locally, but not EPISD), and can tell you that there are at least two areas where big money is literally pissed away by school districts. Administrative costs are way too high, especially salaries, benefits, and “perks.” And, schools waste large amounts of money buying obsolete and unsupported “toys” (for lack of a better word). What I mean by this is that anything computer related is obsolete the day it is purchased, and they rarely, if ever, buy any software, or peripherals to go with the computers. So, the equipment goes unused, since it can’t function without updates, upgrades, and support.


  3. JerryK says:

    Well, the voters of El Paso gave the sup and board a $600MM vote of confidence. Do you expect them to be humble while they figure out who gets to slurp first at the trough?


  4. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm, “as student enrollment declines.” Now I am just an old country boy from the mountains of Montana, but it appears ta me if ya got less students, ya probably need less teachers. If ya need less teachers, ya probably need less administration. If ya need less teachers and administrators, seems ta me that the super don’t need such an obsene salary!


  5. What a Kroc says:

    If all of my burger barns have declining sales because significantly fewer people are eating burgers, am I going to invest big bucks to build more shiny new burger barns?


    • JerryK says:

      There was a popular management text in the 70s, I can’t recall the name, that pointed out the inverse relationship between the staff size of the British Admiralty and the number of British warships. As the number of warships shrank over time, the staff grew greatly. The author even had a formula for it and generalized it as a principle for organization growth.. Wish I could recall the book title.


  6. Benevelous says:

    All of these posts bring out good points. And, Waamber Alerts brings forth just another piece of evidence (that I have been spouting about for some time now) of the attitude of the administration of EPISD.

    Dr. Brown did indeed give a vomit evoking presentation last week during which the topic of the Board of Trustee’s latest outrage (the Supers MASSIVE salary increase) was a short side bar.

    And yes, like many such meetings and presentations in the past, the attendees were told (in a round about way, of course) to “shut up and go back to work”.

    The admin does not give a DAMN about their teachers or campus admin. A minuscule raise for the “little people”? Who cares?

    To the question of how the parents (taxpayers) will respond to the “shiny new buildings”… Well, the public is incredible apathetic in El Paso. They will smile and cheer and believe most of what the district is telling them. And, when the district comes back in a year or two asking for an even more outrageous amount of money to purchase anything and everything that has nothing to do with actual teaching, they will once again vote “yes”.

    The admin and the Board are convinced that the public, the students, and the employees are nothing more than sheep to be herded and sheared at their whim (evidence the latest in a LONG series of re-organizations… hirings… promotions… and demotions…). they care not for anyone but their inner circle. And, this most extremely includes the students.


  7. […] via EPISD teacher pay raises — elpasospeak […]


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