The Lake Travis Independent School District Board of Trustees voted to raise staff pay seven percent of the mid-point salary for each position, while administrators will receive a four percent raise based on the mid-point salary for each position, according to the Austin American-Statesman. The increases come at a time when many school districts are struggling to improve retention and combat vacancies and while employees are facing inflationary costs of living. Smaller increases and one-time payments have also been utilized by Lake Travis ISD in the recent past.
Homes in the Lake Travis area, such as in Bee Cave and Lakeway, have a higher median price than many other parts of Central Texas. This results in challenges for those living in the area and leads to many staff members commuting from elsewhere. Assistant Superintendent for Employee and Community Relations Evalene Murphy said the district has “been shifting to lead the market” rather than match the market. “Most of the teachers who are leaving say they are moving out of the area because of housing costs.”
Raises of between four and seven percent were considered by the board, with the maximum under consideration ultimately approved. While the raises will cause a projected budget deficit of $2.2 million, Lake Travis ISD reserves can cover the extra cost if needed. The district also continues to expand, which will buffer costs, and higher home costs ultimately will add to the district’s bottom line.