The 2020-21 Dallas ISD Board of Trustees. Photo courtesy of Dallas ISD.

The Dallas ISD Board of Trustees approved $50.5 million to fund pay increases and the elimination of out-of-school suspension.

Trustees made the decision last week as they were voting on the 2021-22 budget.

Raises will apply to eligible salaried employees, and there will also be an increase in the minimum district hourly wage from $12.12 to $13.50 per hour. Hourly employees affected by the decision include those in maintenance and operations, student transportation, food and child nutrition, paraprofessional, office support, and police and security. Rates will be reflected in September paychecks.

Employees not under an excellence initiative will see a 2% increase based on the midpoint of their salary range.

District officials have been considering a change in the disciplinary system for months, and the approved budget will help cover costs related to the elimination of out-of-school suspensions. Rather than preventing students from continuing their regular learning, the district will establish Reset Centers staffed by coordinators for all 52 comprehensive middle and high schools. At these centers, coordinators will work with students who might have behaved “in a way that would lead to an out-of-school suspension,” and students will be able to stay engaged with their schoolwork and learning.

Out-of-school suspensions disproportionately affect students of color, and especially Black students, according to DISD data.

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