May 2-6 is officially Teacher Appreciation Week. We love the opportunity of showing our appreciation for these heroes and celebrating their hard work and dedication to our kiddos.
The dictionary describes Appreciation as “being grateful.” Appreciation is often expressed with gifts, kind words, or other short-term expressions that serve as a reminder of how much they mean to us. But more than anything, we want our teachers and staff to know they’re valued.
Value is described as “worth.” Wylie ISD understands the value of our teachers to our students, as expressed in a board goal. The Wylie ISD Board of Trustees has a goal to ensure that we not only attract and do our best to retain but value employees. Appreciation can be fleeting – value is long-term.
In Wylie ISD, we invest in our people. Professional growth opportunities such as our counselor cohorts or our paraprofessional-to-teacher program allow staff the chance to thrive professionally and feel excited about the new possibilities that lie ahead. Other professional development includes mentorships and advanced degree opportunities. We are committed to our teachers’ futures, especially their future as part of the Wylie family.
Valuing teachers also includes days of appreciation, clean and updated classrooms, providing the supplies and equipment to do their job, and perhaps most importantly, a regionally competitive salary. Even more, our dollars are directed to the classroom.
The state publishes numerous reports, including the Texas Academic Performance Report (or TAPR) and the Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (or FIRST), that provide information regarding student performance, district information, and how tax dollars are spent in comparison to the state average. These reports show where dollars are spent and reflect how we value teachers.
Wylie ISD spends nearly 60% of dollars directly on teachers in the classroom compared to the state average of 57%. Meanwhile, the district’s administrative cost ratio is well below the state’s threshold and central administration staffing numbers are lower than the state’s average. We are proud to know that a vast majority of tax dollars are focused on the classroom and the support of teaching and learning.
Our priority is taking care of our classrooms and showing value to teachers and those who support them. Our district is a special place, full of extraordinary people who give their all to our kids. Working in public education isn’t easy right now. I know it, and I see it. There are tons of bright spots and great moments, but challenges exist no matter how much teachers love what they do.
At the May 16 Board of Trustees meeting, a 3% midpoint raise for all employees will be recommended, including $1,183,547 in market adjustments for educational aides, maintenance, transportation, and technology employees. More than $500,000 in market adjustments will also be recommended, with most of those dollars going toward our more experienced educators. This proposed compensation package will allow us to head into the next school year with a balanced budget.
While we spend this week appreciating teachers, our goal is to focus on their value to attract, retain and value our teachers, the Wylie Way. We appreciate our families and taxpayers for their ongoing support of our district, especially our staff on campus and in the classrooms. P.S. If you see a teacher this week, don’t forget to tell them, “thank you!”