During a Special Board Meeting held on June 27, 2023, the Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District Board of Trustees adopted a $212,311,847 million dollar budget aligned with the district’s strategic plan adopted in February of this year.
The adopted budget includes a 6-cent tax reduction, thus decreasing taxes from $1.1562 to $1.0963 per $100 valuation bringing a total of a 22-cent tax decrease since 2019.
“I want to commend our entire team that collaborated on the development of this year’s budget, and I am proud our district was able to present a balanced budget aligned with our district priorities under our new strategic plan. We always prioritize high quality instruction, expansion of opportunities for students and families, student safety and meeting the needs of our employees,” said Dr. Veronica Kortan, HCISD Interim Superintendent of Schools.
The board of trustees also approved the 2023 – 2024 Employee Compensation Plan which is a comprehensive plan including the teacher hiring schedule, salary pay structure, stipend structure and extra-duty pay structure. The plan includes an adjustment to the teacher hiring schedule to include a starting pay of $54,000 for first year teachers. Also, to remain competitive and recruit and retain highly qualified child nutrition campus cafeteria personnel, the starting rates of pay are being increased to be in line with the market.
Included in the compensation plan is a salary increase of $1,200 for teachers and librarians, a 2.5% increase from midpoint for auxiliary and hourly employees, and a 2.0% increase from mid-point for all other employees. Additionally, the Board approved a one-time retention stipend for all full-time employees employed for the duration of the 2023 – 2024 school year and based on their years of service in the amount of $1,500 for employees with 15 or more years of service, $1,000 for employees with 6 to 14 years, and $750 for employees with 0 to 5 years.
“As a Board, we are committed to expanding opportunities for students, ensuring a systemic approach to recruit and retain the very best employees in HCISD and keeping taxes low. This year’s adopted budget will enable us to do so. We have a long-standing history of being responsible stewards of financial resources and I’m proud of the work we have done to develop this year’s budget,” said Dr. Belinda Reininger, HCISD Board President.
The district’s strategic planning process commenced in September 2022 and spanned through February 2023. Within the timeline of design, HCISD engaged approximately 4,000 stakeholders to provide feedback and insight into the needs of our school community. With such a high level of stakeholder engagement in the design process, the proposed strategic plan has resulted in a plan for the community by the community. The goals of the strategic plan are outlined on our website (https://sites.google.com/hcisd.org/harlingencisdstrategicplan2023/home).