Staffing.

That has become a major issue for so many employers in just the past two years.  It seems that no business is immune to the challenges of being short-staffed.  How many signs do you see on a weekly basis of 'now hiring' or 'please excuse the wait due to lack of employees'?

Many school districts are in the same boat.  They face the challenges of not only hiring quality employees but also retaining the employees they have.  Some school districts have reduced their school week from five to four days as a means to attract more educators.  Other school districts have tried to find ways to boost salaries and incentives.

Thursday evening, the Lufkin ISD Board of Trustees approved a competitive compensation plan that included a 3.5 percent pay raise for all employees at the June board meeting. With the increase, the board will need to adopt a 3.6-million-dollar deficit budget.

According to Charlotte Bynum, CFO, many school districts across the state are adopting a deficit budget to accommodate salary increases while student enrollment is down. 

“This pay raise, along with our retention and new hire incentive, as well as the sign-on bonus for teachers in critical areas of need, will help Lufkin ISD remain competitive in recruiting and retaining quality employees,” said Charlotte Bynum. 

Superintendent Lynn Torres is glad that the board is increasing salaries even though adopting a deficit budget comes with some challenges. 

“To make up the difference, we will need to become more efficient than ever, and we need to encourage our legislators to make school finance changes that will be equitable for all schools,” said Lynn Torres. 

Comments from the board included Matt Knight who said that he was hopeful that this increase in salary will make Lufkin ISD more competitive, and Board President Hall Henderson thanked everyone including the Lufkin ISD staff and board members for spending more time working on the budget during this “abnormal year”. 

The budget will come up for approval at a meeting in August.

Teacher of the Day Nominations - Spring 2022

Here are some of the area teachers who have been nominated for the KICKS 105/Whataburger Teacher of the Day. At the end of each semester, one teacher is given a $1,000 classroom grant.