WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Wichita Falls ISD teacher salary increases are being put on hold.
At Tuesday's special session board members discussed a $200 pay increase for teachers, nurses and librarians, but it is what's going on at the state capital that has the board at a standstill.
Superintendent Michael Kuhrt, with the WFISD, said with the Texas Legislature heading into special session in July and with a state-wide proposed $1,000 increase for teacher salaries on the table, the board needs to see what happens first.
"With that proposed $1,000 increase, is zero proposed increase in funding from the state," said Superintendent Kuhrt. "Therefore, we have to absorb that entire cost of the increase, and for us, that would be quite substantial, a little over $1.2 million."
If the legislature does not approve the pay increase, teachers, nurses and librarians in the WFISD could still see that $200 raise and a one percent raise for all other staff members.
But Superintendent Kuhrt said the board must move forward and cannot wait for the state to take action because state law requires their budget be ready to go in August.
Superintendent Kuhrt said WFISD actually pays well above the state's required teacher salary scale. In fact, more than $10,000, but he adds the district is still below schools in the Metroplex.
Right now the board is working on their budget. Superintendent Kuhrt said they are looking at about a $550,000 deficit, and a million dollars worth of cut backs are expected.
He said student programs will not be cut, but funds for, maintenance, supplies and technology are being reduced.
He said the mandated teacher salary increase will add $1.2 million to the deficit.
The WFISD school board is still in the planning stages for next year's budget.