FISD school board to consider pay raises

FORSAN — Although the amount of state money they will receive this year is yet to be determined, school trustees here will begin addressing budget matters for the coming fiscal year when they hold their regular monthly meeting at 7 p.m. Monday in the administration wing board room.Specifically, the school board will begin looking at two areas which make up the lion's share of the budget — salaries and health insurance for employees.Forsan Independent School District Superintendent Randy Johnson said officials will try to enact raises for all employees this year, although no one is sure exactly how much money the district will take in yet.“Right now, revenue is very much up in the air. That's something we get stuck with every two years (when the Texas Legislature meets and adopts the state's budget),” he said.Nevertheless, Johnson said the district is looking long and hard at raises for employees this year.He will recommend to the board a $2,000 across-the-board raise for at-will employees. For teachers, Johnson will recommend a raise of $2,000 along with their regular step raises.In addition, administrators will recommend the district increase its contribution to employee health insurance to $529 per month (for employees only). With the state cutting its contribution to employee health plans, Johnson said the district is more or less being forced to pick up the slack financially.“If we didn't do this, our employees would actually be taking home less money next fiscal year,” he said.Johnson stressed Monday's talks will be preliminary in nature — the next budget is not expected to be adopted until late August.“This is what we're talking about right now,” he said. “How things will end up, we really don't know for sure.”Also Monday, the school board may or may not take action on hiring a construction manager to oversee the building of a new elementary campus and renovations at the secondary campus. This item, of course, is dependent on voters giving their approval to the $28.3 million bond issue.