RISD proposes possible new teacher salary raises

Graphic by EJ Chong | Mercury Staff.

Richardson Independent School District plans to raise new teacher salaries above area average, a move that might boost recruitment of graduates of UTD’s teacher certification program.

Currently, the new teacher salaries for RISD are $52,275, which is below Frisco, Garland and Plano ISD’s $53,000 and McKinney’s $53,850. Assistant Director of Student Teaching and Field Experience at the Teacher Development Center Barbara Ashmore said despite the salary differences, RISD has been one of the most popular destinations for UTD teacher certification graduates.

For the 2018-2019 school year, Frisco ISD raised its new teacher salary from $50,500 to $53,000 and Plano ISD raised its new teacher salary from $52,000 to $53,000. Following a salary study conducted by RISD, RISD Human Resources recommended to raise the new teacher salary to $54,500 to stay competitive with area school districts.

Between the spring and fall of 2018, 29 students completed their mandatory field work at RISD.                                                                                                                                

Ashmore said RISD is popular with students because of its reputation.

“(The classes) are taught by full-time classroom teachers in Plano, Richardson (and) Frisco,” Ashmore said. “That’s probably how they learn the most about the districts.”

Frisco ISD teacher and UTD lecturer Alyssa Ross teaches UTD classes for teacher certification. For recruiting future teachers, she said it is important to let them know that a school district is a professional learning community.

“When we’re recruiting teachers, we want to make sure that they know they’re not on their own, they have a part of a collaborative team that they can both give to and bring their own fresh ideas to and at the same time have the experience of someone else, so they don’t feel like they’re by themselves,” Ross said.

In an RISD Board of Trustees work session, RISD Superintendent Jeannie Stone said RISD lost teachers to other school districts because, in part, of salaries.

“There’s been this correlation of us underinvesting in our teachers and every year struggling with losing them to other school districts,” Stone said.

Ross said she has always felt supported by her school district and that salary increases reflect how society values teachers.

Child development and psychology senior Leila Simmons said she’s wanted to be a teacher since the age of 5 and that having a class taught by an elementary teacher made her more excited to be a teacher. Simmons is pursuing field work at Plano ISD.

“One of my professors (is) currently (a teacher) in an elementary school in Plano ISD … and it’s really cool to hear her experiences and see how excited she is to go to work every day … it’s really inspirational,” Simmons said. “It makes me like a lot more excited (to be a teacher).”

Teacher salary is a consideration in choosing a school district, Simmons said, although not the most important.

“(The pay is) obviously not why I’m in the field because usually they don’t pay very much, but it’s definitely a consideration,” Simmons said, “And so there are school districts that pay more than others that might be more desirable because schools that pay more are usually more satisfactory overall, but not always, of course.”

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