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Midway ISD approves $2.3 million in pay raises, citing competition, housing costs

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Midway ISD school board

The Midway ISD Board of Trustees for the 2021-22 school year stand with the superintendent in front of a mural in the district headquarters building. From left to right: Pam Watts, Brad Alford, Pete Rusek, Colin Witt, Superintendent George Kazanas, Rick Tullis, Susan Vick, Andy Popejoy.

Teachers and most other employees in Midway Independent School District will receive pay raises totaling $2.3 million in the next school year, the Midway ISD board decided in a unanimous vote Tuesday.

The pay package raises beginning teacher pay by $1,000, to $47,100, still below Waco Independent School District’s starting salary but higher than market average as calculated by a consultant.

Midway ISD teacher pay comparison

Source: Midway ISD, Texas Association of School Boards | Note: Market median based on MISD-sponsored survey of 20 Texas districts.

District Enrollment First year 5 years 10 years 15 years 20 years
Midway (current) 8,218 $46,100 $48,339 $50,789 $53,935 $56,834
Midway (future) n/a $47,100 $49,255 $52,385 $55,830 $59,250
Market median n/a $44,000 $46,950 $51,702 $55,511 $58,947
Waco 14,399 $50,250 $52,650 $54,950 $57,050 $59,550
China Spring 2,864 $41,000 $45,082 $51,008 $55,511 $58,947
Temple 8,264 $50,900 $52,900 $54,900 $57,100 $60,100

Teachers with 20 years experience will make $59,250, just shy of their counterparts’ salary in Waco ISD.

Midway ISD has lost teachers this year to other school districts that have a higher pay scale, Midway ISD spokesperson Traci Marlin said.

“We have also had several teachers who accepted a job offer for the coming school year, turn around and decline the offer because they couldn’t find a home in the area they and their spouse could afford,” said Mary Lou Glaesmann, assistant superintendent for human resources.

The board voted on the package after discussing a pay study and recommendations from Jennifer Barton, a human resources and pay consultant with the Texas Association of School Boards. Barton was formerly a principal in the San Antonio area, with some 19 years in teaching and administration.

The study shows Midway pays its teachers more than China Spring ISD, but less than Temple ISD and Waco ISD for starting teachers and those with five years in the classroom. For teachers with 10 years experience and longer Midway falls behind all three of those districts.

Using relief money

Superintendent George Kazanas endorsed the pay plan.

“We need to do this for our teachers,” Kazanas said Tuesday.

Federal pandemic relief money may be used to pay for the raises in the next school year, Kazanas said.

“We really are looking for next year the ESSER dollars,” he said, referring to the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund that Congress established during the Trump Administration and renewed under President Joe Biden.

Midway Board President Pete Rusek said the federal money could offset the cost this year, but he questions whether state aid from student enrollment growth would be enough to cover the additional cost in the longer term.

Barton’s recommendations would place teachers with five or fewer years teaching about $3,100 above the median market salary of $44,000, based on a survey of 20 Texas school districts, many of them in Central Texas.

Midway teachers with 10 years or more would be paid a few hundred dollars more than the median salary, which ranges from $51,702 at 10 years to $58,947 at 20 years.

Midway ISD costs by pay group

Source: Midway ISD, Texas Association of School Boards

Pay group Estimated increase
Teachers $1.2 million
Professionals/administrators $506,000
Paraprofessionals $195,000
Auxiliary $218,000

Midway will pay about $1.2 million for teacher raises; about $500,000 for raises to professionals such as guidance counselors, librarians, principals and district administrators; and $400,000 for other district employees. Spending for stipends would increase by $128,000.

The compensation study

Barton performed a thorough study of pay in Midway and comprehensive comparisons to similar districts nearby, Kazanas said.

For comparison, Barton said she selected school districts in the same University Interscholastic League region and other Texas districts that have similar enrollment, or similar numbers of special programs including those for economically disadvantaged students and those for students with exceptional aptitude.

The study also showed that most administrators at the campus and district level in Midway ISD were paid 3% to 14% less than those with similar roles in comparison districts.

Clerical, technical and instructional support personnel were found to be paid generally between 97% and 110% of the market median, the study found. Auxiliary personnel are paid between 89% and 97% of the market median for those roles, the study found.

Stipends Midway ISD paid for academic and extracurricular roles were also found in the study to be generally behind the market.

Midway ISD costs by pay group

Source: Midway ISD, Texas Association of School Boards

Pay group Estimated increase

Teachers $1.2 million

Professionals/administrators $506,000

Paraprofessionals $195,000

Auxiliary $218,000

Source: Midway ISD, Texas Association of School Boards

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Christopher De Los Santos is a U.S. Army veteran with a master’s degree in journalism from The University of Texas. He previously worked at the Williamson County Sun in Georgetown.

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