The Frisco ISD Board of Trustees approved a 2018-19 budget that invests in additional support for students and higher salaries and improved benefits for staff.
The $514.8 million budget includes funding for dozens of new positions that will relieve counselors and allow them to spend more time addressing students’ social, emotional and mental health needs.
A total of 38 campus instructional support facilitators will be hired to take over testing and Section 504 responsibilities. The District has seen a surge in the number of students eligible for Section 504 in recent years, with more than 8 percent of the student population now receiving services.
In addition, the budget includes funding to expand the number of student assistance coordinators to allocate one for every high school feeder pattern. Student assistance coordinators provide individual, group and crisis counseling and connect families and staff to helpful resources, among other responsibilities.
A total of $1.625 million will also be set aside to provide additional staff to support safety, security and counseling intervention as FISD identifies the best ways to enhance current practices. In addition, the District will add an emergency management compliance manager to coordinate planning, response and recovery for emergencies and disasters.
“Security is always a priority and constantly evaluated to see what works, what has changed and where our resources are best placed to identify, intervene and protect our students,” said School Board President John Classe. “These efforts are intended to address the cause and not just the symptoms of mental illness in our youth.”
The budget also enhances compensation and benefits for employees as part of an ongoing effort to attract, retain and support high-quality staff. The importance of this high-priority area has continued to be emphasized by parent and community groups.
All eligible staff will receive an increase in salary or base wages equal to 3 percent of the midpoint of the employee’s pay grade.
The beginning salary for new teachers will be adjusted from $50,500 to $53,000 for the 2018-2019 school year, and the new hire salary guide for teachers, librarians and nurses will be adjusted accordingly. Existing teachers will receive additional pay scale adjustments to ensure they meet or exceed the hire-in salary for their years of service. With the additional pay scale adjustments, the average pay raise for teachers is 4.9 percent.
Frisco ISD will fund a matching retirement contribution equal to 25 percent of employee contributions up to 1 percent of the contributing employee’s salary or base wages.
The District will reinstate an employee wellness benefit.
The budget accommodates student enrollment growth by providing staffing for four new campuses, including Memorial High School, Lawler Middle School and Liscano and Talley elementary schools, as well as an additional grade level at Lebanon Trail High School. It does not alleviate rising class sizes, an area the District hopes to address in the future.
“Because of our rapidly growing student population, budget decisions can have a significant impact on class sizes,” said Chief Financial Officer Kimberly Pickens. “Staffing formulas are carefully balanced with available funds to hire new teachers and still maintain quality programming and critical support staff. Over the last decade, FISD has been able to manage some of the cost of enrollment growth by increasing class sizes at all grade levels.”
The School Board is set to adopt a tax rate for 2018-19 in August, after the District receives certified property values from Collin and Denton counties. Click here to see a more detailed breakdown of the budget.