ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — Round Rock Independent School District trustees voted to boost pay for teachers and other staff at their Thursday meeting.

Trustees voted to raise the starting salary for teachers and librarians to $52,650. This is over $2,000 more than the 2021-22 school year. Teachers and librarians at years 1-7 and 21-23 would get raises of $2,250 or 4%.

Trustees voted to raise administrative and operations salaries by 3% and instructional support, technology, police and others by 2%.

Texas created the Teacher Vacancy Task Force in March to address a teacher shortage problem. It will explore certification, placement and hiring flexibilities. In a poll from the Texas American Federation of Teachers, 66% of Texas educators surveyed said they recently considered leaving their profession due to low pay and increasing workload.

Ben Sterling, president of the Round Rock teacher’s union called Education Round Rock, said in March he was concerned the state could accelerate certification processes or waive some requirements to help bring more teachers in quickly.

“The answer to the problem of teachers leaving this industry is not going to be to rush to bring in more unskilled labor,” Sterling said. “The answer to this question is to retain those skilled teachers.”

On March 31, RRISD trustees increased pay for educational assistants to $2 more an hour for the 2022-23 school year. Starting pay for an educational assistant II will go up from $13.15 to $15.50. Those who work at Title I schools will get starting pay increases from $15.92 per hour to $17.94 per hour. The top-end for the job at Title I schools goes up to $25.30.

On Thursday, district officials said even with the increases, they hope to have a balanced budget for next school year thanks to things like attrition. The superintendent also said that all staff members will get a $500 retention bonus next year.