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Houston ISD’s 11,000 teachers will be receiving an average 11 percent pay hike under the $2.2 billion annual budget approved unanimously by trustees Thursday evening.

The new scale brings the starting salary for an HISD teacher to $61,500, topping out at $87,500, and pay for most other district employees will be at least $15 an hour.

Currently, teacher salaries range from about $57,000 to $84,000. According to district figures, the new HISD pay scale will outpace the minimum salaries in several other large Texas school districts including Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Austin ISDs.

The compensation package “will ensure HISD is once again one of the most competitive and desirable school districts in the region,” HISD Superintendent Millard House II said. He had pitched the raises as part of his five-year strategic plan, which includes recruiting and retaining teachers as a key goal.

Additionally, with incentive pay offered in annual increments totaling $4,000, reportedly 8,000 HISD teachers have committed to staying with the district for the next three years.

After initially favoring a centralized approach to some staffing and funding in his long-range planning, House recalibrated his strategy. Under the new budget, campuses are retaining most control, but all are being required — in the name of equity — to have a librarian or media specialist along with nursing and counseling professionals.

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