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Bryan and College Station school districts offer bonuses, raises to fight teacher shortage

Posted at 7:00 PM, Jun 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-23 20:00:39-04

BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas — Bryan and College Station’s school districts aim to bring in more teachers with hiring and retention incentives.

Bryan ISD recently announced several new incentives to bring on new teachers to their district, including a sign-on bonus, a starting salary of $50,000, and acceptance without state teaching credentials.

"What we’re doing is actually having a very methodical selection process with specific criteria," said Ginger Carrabine, Bryan ISD superintendent. "You have to have a four-year college degree ... and then from that point, we look at what your degree is in, and what skills and knowledge you bring with that.”

The district has made these decisions to combat its current teacher shortage of about 60 faculty members. Existing teachers are receiving bonuses and raises as well.

"We raised everyone another level on their pay structure, and then we gave them at minimum $1,500 to that," Carrabine said. "So, depending on the years of service, your money could be at minimum $1,500 plus the step, plus the 4 percent for retention."

Thursday was the last day for Bryan ISD middle school math teacher Fabi Payton. Payton said she loves the district and has felt very supported by the administration.

It’s the state pressures and burdens being placed on teachers which have inspired her to leave the career – and spend more time fighting for teachers at the state capitol.

"I don’t think it’s as much about the salary as it is about the job being equitable," Payton said. "The amount of responsibilities a classroom teacher has besides classroom instruction is insane. Even if you give teachers a six-figure salary, the work would still not be equitable, because there are not enough hours in each day to do what they need to do per government standards and regulations.”

College Station’s school board is currently seeking to raise teachers’ salaries, from anywhere between 2 percent and 6 percent. Should those salaries be raised by anywhere between 4 percent and 6 percent, a tax rate election will be called in November.

KRHD reached out to College Station ISD for clarification on the school board’s decision as to which salary plan they are seeking, but district employees are unavailable for comment until Tuesday.