Despite the budget crunch many schools are seeing during the COVID-19 pandemic, new teachers and staff at Travis High School, Bowie Middle School, Neill and Pecan Grove elementary schools will see a small increase in pay.

At their board meeting on Monday, Fort Bend ISD approved updates to its budget, including adjustments to increase the starting rate of new teachers by $3,000 and an average increase in pay of 6%.

That means that the starting salary of FBISD teachers will be at $58,500 for the 2021-22 school year. The current starting salary for a new FBISD teacher is $57,000.

Also, non-teachers employed by the district will receive a 4% raise in starting pay.

FBISD plans to spend about $32.2 million of a total of $51.2 million to attract and retain effective teachers and staff among its priorities during the pandemic. Other priorities include spending money for contact tracing, student interventions, cybersecurity and virtual learning.

Lamar Consolidated ISD continues to offer the most money for a starting salary for teachers in the Houston area, offering $59,100, an increase of $1,000 from this year’s salary. Pearland ISD also offers the same salary, while Spring Branch ISD has its starting salary at $59,000.

The changes to the budget mostly come from new revenue resources from the state and federal government, including the recently passed American Rescue Plan and bills now working in the Texas Legislature.

Also, FBISD is planning changes to the class schedule for the next school year, which includes intervention time for elementary school students in the school day and having 90-minute period blocks for middle and high school students.

Also, the district approved the names for two new schools that will open in the next few years. High School No. 12, located in Fresno and will draw from Hightower and Ridge Point high schools, will be named Almeta Crawford High School. Crawford was an educator for 49 years, 30 of them at Dulles High School and was named Teacher of the Year before her retirement.

Elementary School No. 53 was named Sonal Bhuchar Elementary School in honor of Bhuchar, a former FBISD trustee and associate of the Fort Bend Educational Foundation. She died of cancer complications on April 20, 2019 at age 58.

Crawford High School will open in August of 2022, while Bhuchar Elementary will open in 2023.

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