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Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

Prop A Passed

District-Wide Raise Approved
Hannah McDonough
On Nov. 7, RRISD Proposition A was passed through a Voter Approved Tax Rate Election (VATRE). The proposition provides teachers and librarians with a 3% raise and other staff with a 2% raise. “[Prop A] would come at little to no cost to taxpayers and could help staff get a raise,” an anonymous faculty member said.

On Nov. 7, voters in the community headed to the polls over Proposition A, a proposal to increase teacher and librarian salaries an additional 3%, with an additional 2% for other staff members in the district. The proposition passed with almost 21,000 votes in favor and almost 18,000 against, and the raise will go into effect in January

According to the school district’s website, the raise comes from an increase in Maintenance & Operations (M&O) funds, which required a Voter Approval Tax Rate Election (VATRE) to be passed. Prop A will add three pennies back to the M&O funds, which is estimated to add $11.29 in taxes per month on a house of an average cost in Central Texas.

“I need a raise in order to sustain living and for my family with inflation and our increased benefit rates with RRISD. [Prop A] would come at little to no cost to taxpayers and could help staff get a raise,” an anonymous faculty member said. 

Austin ISD and Hays CISD have offered their teachers a 7% raise since 2022, so one goal of Prop A is to keep up competitively with other school districts in the area in order to attract more teachers. Prop A totals the teacher raise to 6% by adding 3% to an already instated 3% raise. However, there are still some concerns about whether Prop A will be fair to more experienced teachers.

“Prop A will make salaries a bit more competitive in the area,” an anonymous faculty member said. “Unfortunately, Prop A doesn’t do anything to show veteran teachers their value. A teacher with 2 years experience gets the same 3% as a teacher with 20 years experience.”

Another major goal of Prop A is to help attract and retain teachers in the district in order to avoid teacher shortages, a struggle that the district has faced recently. Teacher shortages could lead to larger class sizes for students.

“I have several classes that I’m in which are a lot smaller,” Ella Mills ‘24 said. “I feel a lot more comfortable in them compared to a large class group. I think it’s a lot easier for the teachers too, having to only keep track of maybe like 16 to 20 kids in a class instead of 34 or something.”

According to a survey sent to faculty members, 90.9% of teachers support Prop A, and the remaining 9.1% are undecided. Some of those who responded in support of Prop A said that while Prop A may not do as much as they would like to raise teacher salaries, it is still a step in the right direction. 

“It is nonsensical to vote against a measure for ‘not doing enough.’ Why would you rather have none at all?” Mr. Bailey Hulsey said. “That’s like throwing away your lunchbox because it doesn’t have enough food. Take what you can get and keep advocating for more in the meantime!”

Opposition to Prop A says that it doesn’t do enough to increase teacher pay to justify the proposed tax increase.

“Three percent raise on top of the 3% raises the district approved in June still doesn’t get salaries to the cost of living increases in the last three years,” an anonymous faculty member said. 

For decades, people have recognized that teachers tend to be underpaid. Debates surrounding RRISD’s Prop A center around teacher payment and whether it is enough of a raise. 

“Teachers are fleeing the profession in droves,” an anonymous faculty member said. “Pay isn’t the only reason, but [it] is a big reason. 3% for teachers isn’t significant, but at least [it] is a step in the right direction.”

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About the Contributor
Hannah McDonough
Hannah McDonough, Horizon Assistant Editor
Class of 2024 I am so excited to continue working on the Horizon this year! Aside from writing and reporting, some of my favorite things to do include reading, listening to music, and watching Gilmore Girls.

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