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CSISD board approves pay increase and incentives for bus drivers and substitute teachers-paraprofessionals

Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 7:50 PM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - The College Station ISD school board unanimously voted to approve pay increases and incentives for bus drivers, substitute teachers and substitute paraprofessionals.

Substitute teacher and school bus driver shortages have continued to be a challenge across the country.

College Station ISD currently has several driver vacancies, resulting in all available transportation staff driving routes regularly. Mechanics, office staff, and transportation administration officials have all stepped up to help staff bus routes.

New bus driver pay was increased by $.50 per hour. Drivers currently employed by the district will also see a $.50 per hour increase. In addition, a hiring incentive of $1,000 will be paid to any new bus drivers who already have a CDL. New drivers trained by the district and current employees who want to obtain their CDL and transfer to a bus driver position are eligible for a $750 incentive.

“We’re down. We got mechanics driving buses. We got office staff in the transportation with their CDL driving and administrators driving,” said Amy Drozd, College Station ISD Cheif Financial Officer. “We need to get them back to working their full-time jobs.”

To be more competitive, the district also plans to pay substitute teachers and substitute paraprofessionals more. The school board increased the daily rate for substitutes by $5 per day. The long-term substitute rate will be increased by $5 per day for paraprofessionals and by $10 per day for non-certified and certified teachers. The extended long-term substitute rate was also increased by $5 for paraprofessionals. School officials say the pay increase will be effective at the beginning of the year.

“A substitute might be approved to work not only in College Station but two or three other surrounding districts, and so as those jobs become available, they have choices of which one they would like to take, and so we’re trying to look a little more attractive in that area,” said Drozd.

Andrea Chevalier is a lobbyist with the Association of Texas Professional Educators. She says the association is urging lawmakers to provide additional funding for schools to meet their hiring challenges.

“At the federal level, we’re advocating that paraprofessionals, support staff, substitutes, school bus drivers that they’re all being supported not only in terms of compensation but in terms of their working conditions,” said Chevalier. “There’s a lot that can be done for teachers and for everybody else under the schoolhouse roof.”

Drozd says the district hopes new incentives and pay increases will make College Station ISD more competitive in the workforce while showing staff and applicants that they’re appreciated.

“It’s also a way of saying thank you,” said Chevalier. ‘We appreciate the work that they do for us, and we do value those positions.”

School officials estimate the pay increases and incentives to be $191,000 for the remainder of the 2021-2022 school year.

The school board meeting is available to view in its entirety below.

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