TYLER, Texas (KETK) — The Tyler ISD Board of Trustees approved its general fund budget for the 2022-2023 school year during its meeting on Monday. This budget includes lowering the tax rate by 10.98 cents and raising teacher pay.

The district’s budget will be more than $169.5 million for the school year which includes a net funding increase of about $3.1 million, according to a release.

Tyler ISD officials said that this increase comes from a healthy district property tax growth.

As part of a tax swap compromise, the Texas Legislature agreed to increase its portion of school funding while compressing property tax rates, according to Tyler ISD. The district’s maintenance and operation tax rate will drop from $0.9541 per $100 of taxable value to $0.8793, with the district’s total tax rate falling from $1.2891 per $100 of taxable value to $1.1793. Officials say that figure includes the district’s interest and sinking rate, which decreased by 3.5 cents alone, and is the portion taxpayers vote on during bond elections.

“The School Board and District administration feel we’re at a point to where we could go deep in reducing the rate side the school system is responsible for; we presented our 2022 Bond as such and are proud we can go further than promised, reducing the debt rate side past the one penny we committed this past Spring,” Superintendent Marty Crawford said.

Tyler ISD will receive a net increase of almost 11.7% in taxable value across its taxable area which covers the city of Tyler and large areas of Smith County, per values recently certified by Smith County Appraisal District.

“While the taxable value increased a little over 10 percent, school systems don’t realize all of it as they are capped per statute,” Crawford said. “Even though we’re inside of this inflationary spike, because of how we manage our fiscal program, we can still comfortably live within our means, not reduce student-related programming, and provide our teachers and staff with compensation increases as we have done for a decade or so.”

The district said that the net increase in funds will allow Tyler ISD to raise teacher pay and enhance safety measures.

The starting pay from teachers will increase from $48,750 to $50,000, the district said. Teachers with between one and five years of experience will receive $1,500 raises, while teachers with six years of experience will get a $1,250 raise and those with seven to 39 years of experience will receive a $1,000 raise. Teachers with 40 years of experience will receive a $465 raise and those with more than 40 years of service are capped.

Registered nurses will also get a base rate increase to $50,000. Administrative and professional staff will get a 2% of midpoint salary increase, and annualized hourly staff, paraprofessionals and manual trades will get a 3% of midpoint raise.

Minimum and maximum pay for those positions will also be increased. The minimum base hourly rate will be $12, the district said. Tyler ISD will also try to encourage bus drivers and mechanics with 2% of midpoint raises.