ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — The Round Rock Independent School District is exploring a new way to retain teachers and give them a pay raise.

“We’ll go to our voters,” RRISD Superintendent Dr. Hafedh Azaiez said.

Round Rock ISD will ask the school board to consider a voter-approved tax rate election in November.

Leander and Pflugerville ISD asked the same of its residents in November 2022.

“If they approve it, that will add three golden pennies, three extra pennies that will allow us to raise about $21 million. That is not subject for recapture. We don’t have to send it back to the state,” Azaiez said.

Details are still being ironed out with the proposed tax rate but, Azaiez said, if voters approve the measure, the money would go directly toward pay raises for RRISD teachers.

“Our raises for our teachers will go from 3% to 6%,” Azaiez said.

“The last legislative session, unfortunately, there was no pay increase,” the superintendent said about public education funding. “During last session, there was really not much money, new money added to school district funding. That’s why we are in a situation where we have to go back to our taxpayers.”

Azaiez also said lawmakers didn’t go far enough to pay for school safety improvements with House Bill 3 which would require all Texas school districts to have an armed officer on every campus.

“For a school district our size, that’s going to mean millions and millions of dollars that were not allocated by the state,” Azaiez said. “It’s really putting us in a very bad situation because we would like to follow these requirements. We would love to do it. The problem is, this money has to come from some other place.”

Recent legislation allowed school boards to decide if school marshals should be on campuses.

“The [school] marshals is not on the table right now, not now for our community and for our district,” Azaiez said