Huntsville ISD unveils teacher raise proposal

Schools will remain closed until at least April 6, but teachers and other school employees across Huntsville ISD will continue to be paid – whether they’re working or not.

The Huntsville ISD Board of Trustees said Tuesday that during the emergency closure the district will continue to pay their employees. Hourly employees that were called in for emergency purposes during the Spring Break period will also bank extra pay, with the district voting to compensate them a time-and-a-half.

“Every department has gone above and beyond, from teachers working from home and pushing information to students to our janitorial and maintenance staffs. The list goes on and on of those who have unselfishly stepped up in a time of crisis,” said Scott Sheppard, Huntsville ISD superintendent.

Like much of the COVID-19 pandemic, the extended closure of school buildings is an unprecedented situation for districts that are figuring out how best to serve their students and employees during the crisis.

Because school budgets are annual and state dollars – which pay for employee salaries – are based on student enrollment, school districts are able to continue paying employees as if they were working normally.

Many teachers are still teaching, albeit remotely. They’re putting together lesson plans and uploading assignments for students to retrieve and complete at home.

Food service workers in many districts are still reporting to schools to put together “grab-and-go” meals and ensure kids still have access to healthy food, even when they can’t eat it at school.

Sheppard said that any premium pay as a result of the emergency could be eligible for reimbursements from FEMA.

The next scheduled meeting of the Huntsville ISD Board of Trustees is scheduled for April 21 at 6 p.m.