DESOTO – It was a short special called meeting for the DeSoto ISD trustees Wednesday night.
In fact, the quick Executive Session discussing personnel moved into the open session portion of the meeting with the lone topic of teacher pay increases.
The 2022-2023 compensation package was approved. The approved package also offers every teacher in DeSoto ISD a $6,500 increase.
Highest Salary In The Best Southwest
DeSoto ISD Place 6 Trustee DeAndrea Fleming, who is also the Vice President of the board said after the meeting “Today we approved the compensation package for our teachers and counselors. Our starting first-year teacher’s salary will be at $58,500, which is the highest in the Best Southwest area.”
DeSoto ISD’s approved pay raise is competitive to Dallas ISD and Arlington ISD. Arlington ISD recently approved $60,000 for its first-year teachers. Whereas Red Oak ISD is offering $53,500 for starting teachers, approved by their board in April. In May, Duncanville ISD increased starting pay for teachers to $57,000.
“We are very competitive at this moment,” Fleming said. “On top of that we added a six percent pay raise for our auxiliary professionals at the midpoint. We want to make sure they have their needs met as well.”
Also in the compensation package was an added insurance incentive.
“We have upped our contribution,” Fleming added. “Again, we understand there is an increase in insurance benefits, and we wanted to make sure we are competitive on that as well.”
Other incentives the District added included math, English language arts and reading (ELAR), science, bilingual and foreign languages.
Fleming said again, the District wants to assure it is always offering professional development and full support.
Retention Is Key
“We know this matters and we know this is a step in the right direction,” she said. “We are looking to increase our recruitment and retention. With that in mind we also know the recruitment is the base salary. We have the TIA allotment that comes from the State of Texas and that comes with an increase on top of our new base.”
Indeed, retaining teachers these days is not easy.
And DeSoto is hoping to hire as many as 90 teachers.
“Our goal as a school system is to ensure that we are 100 percent staffed for the upcoming academic year,” DeSoto ISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Usamah Rodgers said. “We know that strong teachers are vital to the District’s ability to offer high quality, responsive instruction that will advance student achievement in DeSoto ISD, and that’s why we chose to invest in creating a competitive compensation package for our teachers.”
Fleming said several times “culture matters” and she added that means the District stay focused on retaining the best and always making sure they are recruiting high quality teachers.
As for the timing of the approval of the compensation package, Fleming said the board gave themselves a timeline and kept it.
With the shortage of teachers, they also wanted to assure they could retain the teachers they currently have employed and entice new ones to join the DeSoto team.
“We know that teachers are making decisions right now and they can go anywhere,” Fleming concluded. “We want to begin our school year with 100% teachers in place.”
Upcoming DeSoto ISD Job Fairs
DeSoto ISD will host six job fairs this summer to recruit and hire for the upcoming school year. Current vacancies can be found online at www.desotoisd.org/employment and job fair dates and locations are listed below:
- 2-6 p.m. on June 13 at the DeSoto ISD Belt Line Conference Center
- 9 a.m. to Noon on June 25 at the DeSoto ISD Belt Line Conference Center
- 4-8 p.m. on June 29 at the DeSoto ISD Belt Line Conference Center
- 9 a.m. to Noon on July 13 at the DeSoto ISD Belt Line Conference Center
- 9 a.m. to Noon on July 28 at the DeSoto ISD Belt Line Conference Center
- 9 a.m. to Noon on August 5 at the DeSoto ISD Belt Line Conference Center