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Higher Pay For Teachers? School Districts Raising Base Salaries

Teaching Jobs, Becoming A Teacher, Texas Teacher News

Micah Fikes
Micah Fikes on May 28, 2024

A school district in Texas is taking matters into its own hands in an effort to attract and retain experienced educators. 


Richardson ISD recently announced its 2024-2025 teacher salary schedule, as well as critical needs teacher stipends and benefits packages that include significant employee daycare and Pre-K discounts for educators with children. 


Under the district's most updated salary schedule, new teachers, librarians, and school nurses will receive a minimum salary of $61,000, regardless of educational level. 


Like many states across the country, Texas is experiencing a teacher shortage, and some school districts, like Richardson ISD, are taking the initiative to attract teaching interns and retain the ones they have. 


If you’re considering switching careers and becoming a teacher, there is no better time than now when school districts are actively filling their vacancies. Let’s take a closer look at how districts are attracting new interns and how you can step in to fill this need.

Incentives To Become A Teacher



Located northeast of Dallas in what’s known as the Metroplex, Richardson ISD recently announced new teacher pay guidance and pay raise guidance that aligns with the district’s goals and competitive practices. 


New teachers will make $61,000, and for every year of experience after, the minimum salary will be $500 to $1,000 greater. For example, a new teacher coming to the district with 10 years of experience will have a minimum salary of at least $66,000. With 15 years of experience, a new teacher in the district would make at least $71,000. 


2024 - 2025 New Hire Teacher Salary Schedule


0- $61,000 11 - $66,500 22 - $78,000
1 - $61,500 12 - $68,000 23 - $79,000
2 - $62,000 13 - $69,000 24 - $80,000
3 - $62,500 14 - $70,000 25 - $81,000
4 - $63,000 15 - $71,000 26 - $82,000
5 - $63,500 16 - $72,000 27 - $83,000
6 - $64,000 17 - $73,000 28 - $84,000
7 - $64,500 18 - $74,000 29 - $85,000
8 - $65,000 19 - $75,000 30+ - $86,000
9 - $65,500 20 - $76,000  
10 - $66,000 21 - $77,000  



If you are a teacher, librarian or nurse with the district, you are eligible for a set pay raise for the 2024-2025 school year. Rather than receive a traditional compensation structure that increases pay by a percentage, the new plan offers a $500 salary increase for each year of experience you have if you have below 10 years with the district and a $1,000 increase for each year above 10 years.


pay raise table


RISD also is offering stipends to help fill some of the district’s most critical needs, including:


  • Secondary Math/Science/LOTE: Up to $2,000
  • Resource Special Education: $2,000
  • CTE Critical Need: $3,000
  • Central Program Special Education: $4,000
  • Bilingual Classroom: $6,000


The district also offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes maternity and paternity leave, a RISD employee acute care clinic with a $10 copay, and a discount on employee daycare/Child Learning Academy that could save an employee nearly $7,500 per year compared to what a non-RISD provider would pay.


RISD isn’t the only district in the state using incentives to attract teachers, and some are getting creative. 


Austin ISD is currently repurposing one of its campuses into a 500-unit housing complex to help teachers combat expensive living costs in the city. For teachers relocating to Ector County ISD in rural Odessa, the district is currently in contract with a property management company to offer 100 apartments to teachers at a discounted rate. The deal also waives any deposits.


How To Become A Teacher



As the demand for educators remains high in Texas, now is the time to pursue your teaching goals. 


You may be surprised to discover that becoming a teacher is a fairly quick process, especially if you already have your bachelor’s degree (and that degree does NOT have to be in education). 


By enrolling in a state-approved educator preparation program (EPP), you can earn your Texas teacher certification on average in four to six months. Also known as alternative teacher certification programs, EPPs provide the training you need to teach in the classroom.


To qualify for an EPP, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) requires that you earn a 2.5 GPA from an accredited institution or in the last 60 semester hours of courses attempted.


If you are in the final semester of your bachelor’s degree program, you can qualify for an EPP as well. You must provide:


  • A copy of your final semester schedule of classes
  • A letter from an academic advisor or registrar indicating you are in your final semester and eligible for graduation
  • An official transcript that includes your coursework through the previous semester
  • Proof of a passed content test 


Even if you don’t have a bachelor’s degree, you can still qualify for an EPP. However, you must have a certain number of years of work experience in the field you plan to teach, as well as a current license in the fields of Health Science Technology, Criminal Justice or Cosmetology that would allow you to teach in career and technical education.


This is good news for aspiring teachers who want to teach in one of these areas since many districts, including Richardson ISD, are offering incentives like stipends to attract educators to teach in Career and Technical Education (CTE) fields. 


Once you are accepted into an EPP, you’ll need to fulfill the training requirements, pass any tests you must take and undergo a background check. You can read more about these steps in our article, Online Teacher Certification Texas Rules.


How To Choose An Educator Preparation Program



While you may be ready to jump head first into training, it’s important to take a minute to ensure the program that is providing you this path toward teaching is right for you. 


Educator preparation programs can be provided online, in person or both. Which format you choose may depend on factors like your schedule and location. 


Online programs often offer more course availability and the comfort of taking courses wherever is most comfortable, whether it’s at home, the library or a local coffee shop. In-person programs offer face-to-face interactions, and the opportunity to network that simply can’t be replicated online. 


That’s why many interns choose a program that combines both online and in-person training, offering the best of both worlds. 


Other qualities of an EPP that you should look for include:


  • Flexibility in when you take your courses
  • Program availability, no matter where you live
  • Continuous support throughout the entire process
  • An extensive network of teachers and districts throughout the state
  • Test preparation NOT as a costly add-on


Another quality of a top educator preparation program involves teacher advisors. Your required training will consist of 300 hours of training to receive a standard teaching certificate, 30 of which must be dedicated to observation by a teacher advisor or in a classroom environment working with students (also known as student teaching).


The 30 hours of observation by a teacher advisor are a very important part of your certification process because these teachers send a recommendation to your credential program that you are ready or not ready to teach in a school district.


The educator preparation program makes a big difference in this process. ECAP has former principals, vice principals and teachers who have extensive experience to help you through this certification requirement. Not all programs do this. Some simply send past teachers who are ex-students of their program to evaluate you, so it is important to contact the program you are considering to ensure that you are going to get the best advisor to help you.


Teaching is a noble profession that plays a crucial role in shaping the future. With school districts across Texas racing to offer incentives to fill open positions, now is the perfect time to pursue a career in education. 


Working with a quality educator preparation program can provide you with the necessary tools, support and training to excel in the classroom and make a meaningful impact on the lives of students.


apply to ecap

Topics: Teaching Jobs, Becoming A Teacher, Texas Teacher News

Written by Micah Fikes

Micah is the Director of Curriculum & Technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in British Literature, from the University of North Texas and a Master of Arts in Teaching, from Louisiana College. In his previous career, Micah served for 14 years as a banker and bank manager. For the majority of this period, Micah managed the Downtown Fort Worth location of Frost Bank. In 2005, Micah finally surrendered to his true calling to be an educator. After a brief, but fulfilling term teaching high school English at Flower Mound High School in Lewisville ISD, Micah went to work for the family business, training teachers.

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