The increase will be based on the midpoint of each HPISD pay grade. In March, trustees made a commitment to a minimum 3 percent salary increase.
“The announcement we made in the spring represented the first step in the board's continued commitment to bring HPISD teacher and staff compensation closer to the North Texas competitive averages,” Trustee and Finance Chair Doug Woodward said. “We are very pleased that our diligent fiscal efforts positioned us to approve an additional 2 percent for a 5 percent total increase for the 2023-24 school year.”
The 2023-24 5 percent raise is the third significant salary increase since the community said yes to the Voter Approved Tax Ratification (Golden Penny) Election in November 2021. It represents an aggregate increase of 13 percent over the last three years. Funding to support the approved compensation package is attributed to the district’s increased Golden Penny revenues, investment earnings, a historic $1.7 million gift from the HP Education Foundation, and efforts by the Budget Committee and Finance Committee to meet the Board’s goal to increase compensation.
“We are in a more sustainable fiscal position today,” Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Scott Drillette said. “A great deal of thoughtful discussion and strategic planning has occurred over the last three years by trustees and the district’s Finance Committee, which includes a number of community members who have expertise as finance industry professionals. We appreciate these individuals immensely.”
The budget also includes funding to increase Master’s Degree stipends from $2,500 to $3,000 annually to align with the National Board Certification compensation allotted by the state.
Support of the Golden Penny Election transforms HPISD’s teacher salary scale
The impact of the community’s passage of the VATRE is the district’s ability to further align HPISD teacher salaries more closely to the competitive averages found in the North Texas market. The 2023-24 HPISD first-year teacher salary is $59,400 and is nearly $10,000 above the district's first-year salary of $49,425 five years ago. Prior to the November 2021 VATRE, Highland Park ISD’s compensation package was ranked 24th on a list of 25 North Texas districts.
HPISD Superintendent Dr. Mike Rockwood praised trustees and administration for their work. “The strategic commitment to increase staff compensation will carry the district into the future and it is impressive to see the gains made in just three short years. The increases demonstrate HPISD values teachers and staff.”
The total approved Highland Park ISD budget for the 2023-24 school year is $186,451,548. HPISD estimates it will send $109,639,798 of its local revenues back to the State of Texas as Recapture, leaving the district with operating expenditures of $76,811,750.
Highland Park ISD is considered a Chapter 49 “property wealthy” school district, which means it is required to send a portion (64% in 2022-23 and an estimated 59% in 2023-24) of its local property tax revenue to the state, a process often referred to as Robin Hood. Revenue collected from the Golden Pennies is not subject to recapture, and 100 percent of those funds go directly to the district.
HPISD has directed all of the additional monies raised by the Golden Penny Election to employee compensation, as promised to voters in 2021.