El Paso ISD Board votes to adopts 2021-22 budget, compensation plan

The El Paso Independent School District Board of Trustees on Tuesday night adopted the 2021-22 annual budget that includes a 1 percent salary increase from midpoint for all eligible employees.

“The Board is pleased to adopt a balanced budget despite the financial challenges facing our District,” said Board President Bob Geske. “The budget also allows for a compensation package that rewards employees for their dedication during these difficult times, but also keeps us fiscally responsible to the taxpayers of EPISD.”

Trustees also voted to award two Employee Retention Stipends for qualifying employees of up to $2,000 each. They reviewed several compensation package options but settled on a 1 percent increase from midpoint for all employees and the two retention stipends — which may be paid for federal pandemic relief funds that will be released by the state to the District, or other available funding.

Each stipend would be of up to $2,000 for all permanent employees. The amount will depend on fund availability and Texas Education Agency approval. The stipends will be paid in December of 2021 and June of 2022.

EPISD Administration presented a balanced budget of $512.8 million to the Board for approval. The budget takes into consideration challenges like the continued decrease in student enrollment and revenue losses due to the pandemic.

“The Board and Administration continue to demonstrate astute financial management and oversight which has allowed us to be better positioned than most school districts to tackle the obstacles that will surely come in the coming months,” said Interim Superintendent Vince Sheffield.

“However, the District should be prepared to cope with the challenges of declining enrollment, which has been particularly impacted by the pandemic. EPISD also faces losses in property tax collections and pandemic-related reductions in state funding.”

District officials add that Trustees will set a tax rate for the 2021-22 school year in the summer.