WILLS POINT, Texas (KETK) – The Wills Point ISD Board of Trustees voted on Monday to increase the salaries for their teachers.

The district is raising their first-year teacher salary to $50,000, which is $16,340 greater than the state minimum salary.

Officials also approved a $1.5 million increase to their compensation budget compared to the previous year. This means they were able to give raises, make market adjustments and give stipend increases.

The board gave the green light for sign on bonuses for critical needs. Bus drivers at Wills Point ISD will also get paid $20 per hour.

“Due to the fiscal responsibility of our administration, the district has been able to offer pay increases each year, add additional staff to support current personnel, and give each employee a retention incentive for the past four years,” said David Brown, Wills Point ISD Director of Finance.

Retention plans and stipends have been changed to be on the same level as other school districts that are nearby.

“I hope this new salary schedule shows teachers how much they are appreciated. At Wills Point ISD, teacher retention is our top priority. This step also ensures that we are competitive as a district in recruiting top talent to Wills Point,” said Dr. Scott Caloss, Wills Point ISD Superintendent.

Wills Point ISD carried out a study to compare the pay scales for the school districts in the area and finally decided on their new salaries. The study revealed that the largest gaps could be seen in salaries for people that worked between 0-12 years. The salary changes are intended to help the school district recruit and keep their teachers.