Professional Council is a group of teachers selected to represent their respective campuses in regular meetings with the superintendent of schools. Each campus has at least one representative as part of Professional Council. This format was created to give teachers an opportunity to provide feedback directly to Superintendent Dr. Marc Smith and provide him with an opportunity to hear from teachers in a structured format.
Prior to each meeting, Professional Council representatives submit district questions or concerns providing time to gather informaton to provide answers. Many of the questions are discussed further at the meeting. To facilitate the release of that information, written responses are provided to the representatiives after the meeting. Responses to questions are also posted on this webpage and distributed in the district's weekly e-newsletter emailed to all employees, "Staff News." Campus-specific questions are redirected back to the campus to work with the principal to address.This group was not created to circumvent the principal or established administrative structure in resolving campus issues. This group primarily addresses districtwide concerns.
October 2019 - Professional Council Meeting Responses
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you define a Teacher Work Day, Design Day and Pofessonal Development Day?
Professional Development Days are an opportunity to provide training on districtwide initiatives, such as balanced literacy. Design Days are focused on campus needs, which are defined by the leader of that campus. Principals determine how to best utilize Design Days, whether that is campus-wide curriculum meetings or subject-specific training. Teacher Work Days are defined as time for teachers to work on classroom needs. Teachers guide the priorities on these days.
Historcially, some of the confusion may have come from knowing the dates for Professional Development Days, Design Days and Teacher Work Days. To address this concern, a teacher calendar has been created and is posted to the website. This was a change requested by PRofessional Council representatives that was enacted for the 2019-2020 school year.
The student calendar that is printed and distributed each year lists all three days as Staff Development Days since the audience for that calendar is students and parents.
Is there any way Duncanville ISD could pay employees twice a month instead of once?
Currently the majority of employees are paid once a month. Business Services has evaluated the steps necessary to succcessfully change to a twice monthly payroll for salaried employees. To increase the frequency of payroll would require additional staffing in the Payroll Department. We do not currently have the personnel in place to increase the frequency of payroll for the majority of district employees. In addition to hiring more staff, Business Services would need to located space to house additional payroll employees and that is not under consideration.
What happened to raise amounts shared over in the spring and summer as the Texas Legislature met to discuss incresaing teacher pay? Why was the raise approved by Duncanville ISD not the same as other school districts with larger raises?
School finance in general is complex and with the Texas Legislature’s change to the funding system, there are elements we continue to evaluate and learn more about. Throughout the spring we all heard varying estimates for how much funding would be provided to school districts specifically for teacher salary increases. Those numbers ranged from $1,200 to $5,000. As we were building our budget in the spring, we were studying all the scenarios available. Based on the changing information, we looked at raise options at multiple levels and that’s what we discussed in the spring. In the end, the outcome of the Legislative process really drove our numbers.
Duncanville ISD’s projected additional revenue for this year is $5,246,557. House Bill 3 requires that 30% of that funding be spent on non-administrative salaries. And 75% of that 30% portion must be spent on salary increases for teachers, counselors, nurses and librarians. With that formula, the district was required to spend $1,573,967 on non-administrative salaries. The district spent $2,044,100 on teacher pay increases. We went above and beyond what was required. Duncanville ISD budgeted almost 40% of the budget increase to teacher raises, which is approximately $3.3 million.
Below is a breakdown of how the district applied the pay increase.
New teachers from $51,000 to $53,000 $ 278,000
1-5 experience teachers increase by $2,200 $ 411,440
6+ experience teachers, counselors, nurses, librarians $2,300 $1,354,700
Total Spent on teachers, counselors, nurses and librarians $2,044,100
Other employees had 3% of midpoint increase + salary adjustments $1,246,472
Total in salary increases $3,290,572
The remaining $1,955,985 in additional revenue was budgeted to cover increases in insurance, utilities, fuel and other basic cost increases in the district.
Ultimately when the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 3 this summer and the formulas were applied, school districts were not all provided the same funding. That’s the reason you’ll see some districts providing large percentage increases and others providing less.
One reason for the disparity in funding to districts with House Bill 3 was the elimination of the Cost of Education Index (CEI), which addresses the difference in the cost of living in different areas of the state. The CEI scale ranges from 1.02 to 1.20. Duncanville ISD falls in the middle of that scale with a 1.14. If we had been at the lower end of that scale at 1.02, we would have received $5.22 million more than we did. If we were on the high end at 1.20, Duncanville ISD would have received $2.61 million less than we did. If you are interested in learning more about how the CEI impacted school districts and created the funding disparity, click here to review a summary created by the Duncanville ISD Chief Financial Officer.
It is always my goal to provide as much of a salary increase for teachers as possible while also evaluating ways to improve pay equity for other positions in the school district and presenting a balanced budget to the board of trustees. It’s important to note that Duncanville ISD teacher salaries are not on a step schedule. Instead of annual pay increases regardless of budget availability, annual raises are considered by the board of trustees as part of the budget each year. The district has historically not always been able to provide pay increases at the same level as other school districts, but during my time here I’ve worked with the board of trustees to provide some form of compensation. Making salaries more competitive is not going to happen overnight, but by making steady progress over time we can make a difference. To view the salary increase history in recent years, click here. I am not presenting this as if it’s enough, but you have to show what we have done to provide perspective. We have taken steps to be more competitive.