Kountze, Silsbee and West Orange-Cove School Districts to Increase Teacher Salaries


In line with the trend of school districts across the state, three other local districts are increasing the salaries and/or base salary of their teachers.

Kountze, Silsbee and West Orange-Cove Consolidated ISD school boards all recently approved measures to increase teacher salaries for the upcoming 2022-23 school year.

The topic of teacher compensation has been a frequent hot topic in recent months, especially as the spotlight has been shone on Texas’ ongoing teacher shortage.

In April, there were 10,000 teacher openings in districts across the state, according to the Public News Service.

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The shortage has been exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and many teachers have chosen to retire or leave their districts for better paid teachers.

To stay competitive in hiring and prevent their current teachers from leaving, districts have had to raise salaries to prevent teachers from seeking employment elsewhere.

Kountzé ISD

Kountze ISD is increasing the base salary of its teachers from $43,000 to $44,000.

The district also offers an additional $1,000 per step for teachers with a master’s degree.

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Additionally, each subsequent step on the pay scale will see an $800 salary increase.

“Our goal is to balance salaries in order to attract new teachers, but at the same time take care of the staff we currently have,” Superintendent Shane Reyenga said in an email. “I’m lucky that our board is committed to taking care of our staff.”

Reyenga said $800 was the average increment per step and the district distributes retention bonuses to returning staff members each year.

“Our hope is that our people know that we are trying to take care of them, but understand that we are limited by the amount of state funding,” he said.

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Kountze ISD also pays $3,720 per year per employee who participates in the teachers’ pension system insurance and provides each employee with a $50,000 life insurance policy.

Silsbee DSI

Silsbee ISD increases his base salary from $750 to $42,250.

Teachers with up to two years of experience will also see a pay rise.

A teacher with one year of experience will see a $500 pay increase and a teacher with two years of experience will see a $250 increase.

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Beyond that, salaries for teachers with three or more years of experience will remain the same from the 2021-22 school year.

The district offers an additional $1,500 per step for teachers with a master’s degree.

Additionally, Silsbee ISD pays at least $3,485 per year per employee in employee benefits, according to the district’s website.

West Orange-Cove CISD

West Orange-Cove DSIC is increasing his base salary from $4,000 to $50,000.

“Our goal is to try to maintain a competitive pay scale for our teachers,” WO-CCISD Superintendent Rickie Harris said in an email. “We hope this will help recruit teachers to our district during this teacher shortage, but the main reason is to take care of the teachers we already have who so deserve these resources.”

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All stages of the teacher pay scale will see a pay increase, but with increasing years of experience, the less the pay will increase.

“This follows our long-term plan that was put in place in 2018,” Harris said. “At (that) time we tackled the middle and end of our pay scale. This time we tackled the beginning and middle of our pay scale. We knew in 2018 that we didn’t have the resources to tackle the whole pay scale, so we’ve tackled it in parts.”

Additionally, the district offers an additional $1,500 for teachers with master’s degrees and $2,400 for teachers with doctoral degrees.

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