Approved 2021-2022 budget includes $50.5 million in salary increases and funding for discipline reform

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The Board of Trustees has approved $50.5 million in salary increases for eligible employees for the 2021-2022 school year. The board also approved an increase in the minimum district hourly wage from $12.12 to $13.50 per hour, resulting in significant increases for CDL drivers, bus monitors, custodians, food service workers and many other positions.

Employees in the positions that would be affected by the minimum hourly wage hike would receive an average increase of 10 percent, with some employees receiving slightly less or more depending on individual specifics. The increase to $13.50/hour impacts employees primarily in the Maintenance and Operations, Student Transportation, Food and Child Nutrition, Paraprofessional, Office Support, and Police and Security pay structures. The increase will be reflected starting in the September paycheck effective to the respective 2021-2022 calendar start dates.

Other eligible employees who are not under an excellence initiative will receive a 2% increase based on the midpoint of their salary range. Employees who are part of an excellence initiative will receive the greater of a change in excellence initiative compensation level or a defined dollar amount increase.

Eliminating out-of-school suspensions

The approved budget will also help reform an antiquated discipline system that district leaders say does not work for students of color and, particularly, Black students. Under the budget and approved student code of conduct, Dallas ISD will eliminate out-of-school suspensions, while still having any serious infraction go through the disciplinary alternative education program.

Dallas ISD will fund a Reset Center Coordinator for all 52 comprehensive middle and high schools. The coordinator will work with students who might, in the past, behave in a way that would lead to an out-of-school suspension. Each comprehensive middle and high school will also receive resources for a Reset Center, a dedicated space for the coordinator to work with these students, while still keeping them engaged in their schoolwork and learning.

“This is going to be an opportunity for students to learn how to self-regulate and self-govern their behaviors, which is really what we want them to take ownership of,” said David Carter High School Principal Jonathan C. Smith at a parent workshop. “We believe that discipline is not about being punitive, but it’s about teaching. This is exactly what our students need and deserve.”

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