Over summer break, the Richardson ISD board of trustees approved the 2019-2020 budget which includes a raise for every employee but also a decrease in the tax rate for homeowners.

According to RISD Newsdesk, teachers in the district will receive a stratified salary boost starting at 3.5% and climbing as high as 5%, based on years of experience. The budget also includes an increase in the starting salary for first-year teachers of 3.3% to $54,000.

The budget proposal came just days after Gov. Greg Abbott signed a school finance reform bill. The new law provides $6.5 billion in additional state funding for public schools, with requirements that each district use a portion for teacher compensation

In RISD, teachers are paid $2,000 more than the state average, and the amount granted in the trustees’ adopted budget for teacher compensation increases was more than 4.5 times what the sate requires. All other eligible employees will receive a 3.5% raise.

Homeowners also benefit from the 2019-2020 budget changes because the district can reduce its reliance on local tax revenue to support its general fund.

According to the June 17 budget meeting notes, the average homeowner tax rate will decrease to about $1.07, compared to the 2018 tax rate of $1.17.  It is estimated that property taxes for the average-value home in RISD will decrease by approximately $157.

“This board has always been intentional and flexible,” Trustee Kim Caston told RISD Newsdesk. “We want to be competitive so this is a place where people want to unpack their bags and stay.”