Many San Antonio area school district employees will receive a raise this school year, whether they are teachers, custodial workers, or counselors.

School boards approved millions of dollars in general pay increases and retention bonuses in the past few months, as districts prepared budgets for the 2021-22 school year and developed plans on how to use the millions in federal stimulus funds they will receive. Schools have through September 2024 to use the federal funds.

Several school officials and board members said they wanted to offer retention bonuses to employees after a difficult year and a half in which all district employees had to adapt to continue serving students and families.

“If ever there was a time for a general pay increase, it’s now,” said Dana Ray, San Antonio Independent School District’s chief of human capital management. “No group deserves it more.”

Northside ISD

In June, the school board of San Antonio’s largest school district approved a $26.7 million compensation plan for the 2021-22 school year. The plan will raise salaries for teachers, librarians, counselors, and nurses by $1,900 and provide a 3.5% raise, based on the midpoint of their salary ranges, for auxiliary positions, such as police officers, child nutrition workers, custodial staff, and maintenance and transportation employees.

District spokesman Barry Perez said this was the first general pay increase since 2019. School officials wanted to reward staff’s hard work during the past year and remain competitive with other school districts.

“We’re in direct competition with folks just down the road from us,” he said.

North East ISD

NEISD teachers and librarians will earn an extra $1,120 per year, after the school board approved the 2021-22 compensation plan. Counselors and nurses will receive a 2% raise based on the mid-range salary for their positions, and auxiliary staff will earn 3% more of their midpoint salaries. The total compensation plan cost about $26.7 million.

San Antonio’s second largest school district wants to distribute a one-time retention stipend to employees this school year if its plan on how to use its federal funds is approved by the state, Superintendent Sean Maika said at a June board meeting. NEISD also would offer a signing bonus to teachers who fill “high needs” positions as a recruitment incentive.

San Antonio ISD

SAISD teachers, nurses, librarians, and other full-time employees received a 2% salary increase this school year, costing almost $6.5 million. The school board also voted in May to raise the entry hourly pay rate by $1 to $16 an hour and approved a $500 longevity stipend to be paid to full-time employees after completing 15 years of employment with the district.

South San Antonio ISD

South San ISD full-time employees will receive a one-time $3,000 retention bonus during the 2021-22 school year. The district has about 1,231 full-time workers, according to the Texas Education Agency. Part-time workers also will receive a bonus based on their hourly wages. The school board approved the retention bonuses last week.

Southwest ISD

In July, the Southwest ISD school board approved a $1,000 retention stipend for every employee. The district plans to distribute the stipend at Christmas for the next three years, using federal relief funds. The board also approved a 2% increase for professional staff and a 3% raise for clerical and instructional support staff.

Harlandale ISD

Harlandale trustees in June approved a $600 retention stipend for employees who have been employed at the district for a certain number of years, but the district has not determined how long workers must have been employed at the district to receive the stipend, district spokeswoman Mariana Veraza said. The stipend will be split into two $300 payments to be paid in December and May. Veraza said the board plans to revisit the item to see if the payment amount can be increased.

Edgewood ISD

Teachers, administrators, clerical and paraprofessional staff, and auxiliary workers will receive a 3% midpoint salary increase in the 2021-22 school year. Additionally, bilingual teachers will get a $3,000 stipend and new bilingual educators will receive a $1,500 sign-on bonus. The school board approved the raises in June.

Judson ISD

In April, Judson trustees approved $10 million in raises for staff that will go into effect this school year. The 2021-22 compensation plan includes a 2% raise for all teachers and professional staff, such as social workers and principals, and a 3% raise for all auxiliary and clerical staff. The 3% raise for auxiliary and clerical staff brings the district minimum wage to $14.04 and $14.96 for clerical and instructional support personnel, depending on the level of experience.

The board plans to revisit the district’s compensation plan at a Thursday board meeting.

Brooke Crum

Brooke Crum is the San Antonio Report's education reporter.