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Temple ISD 2021-22 $113.1M budget targets pay, tax rate reduction, learning loss mitigation

Superintendent Dr. Bobby Ott said this year's budget planning and adoption process posed new challenges following the COVID-19 pandemic.

TEMPLE, Texas — The Temple ISD school board unanimously approved a $113.1 million budget at a board meeting June 29. 

The budget targets several district priorities, including compensation, which gives district employees an increase of two percent from the midpoint salary of their respective pay grade, the district said in a release. 

This brings the total increase in teacher salaries since 2018-2019 to 14.5%, the district said. Hourly employees, such as bus drivers, paraprofessionals, maintenance and food service staff, also received significant increases in the same timeframe. Additionally, targeted equity adjustments were made to positions that paid less than their counterparts in similar school districts.

The district said expected revenues for the coming school year are $114.7 million. 

Other priorities in budgeting for the 2021-22 school year included learning loss mitigation and a planned decrease in the tax rate later this fall, the district said in a release. Superintendent Dr. Bobby Ott said this year's budget planning and adoption process posed new challenges following the COVID-19 pandemic.

“School district funding is based upon student enrollment and attendance which does impact revenue projections,” Ott said. “However, I am proud to say that the budget proposed and adopted this evening provides for additional student resources to assist with learning loss and social/emotional services due to COVID. Further it provides a much-deserved salary increase for all Temple ISD staff members.” 

The school board expects to receive a recommendation to lower the tax rate — currently $1.28 per $100 of valuation — in August or September. If passed, this would be third consecutive year of tax rate reduction and would add to the existing 12 cent decrease since 2018-2019.

"The budget presented by district leadership prioritizes the needs of our students, rewards our staff and anticipates a tax rate reduction,” said board president, Dan Posey. “I want to thank Dr. Ott and the leadership team for consistently exercising good stewardship of taxpayer dollars on behalf of our citizens.”