Employee Benefits & Compensation

Our employees are our most valuable asset in furthering our mission of College for All Children.

IDEA Public Schools is committed to offering a comprehensive employee benefits program that helps our employees stay healthy, feel secure, and maintain a work/life balance.

Competitive Compensation

At IDEA, we realize compensation is an important factor to staff members and we strive to make sure our strategies around compensation not only align to our organization goals but are also effective in rewarding and recognizing the hard work of our staff. 

Compensation – IDEA sets annual salaries individually based on each person’s background and experiences relative to their role. 

Longevity Awards – IDEA recognizes and celebrates staff tenure with our organization by awarding them with a compensation bonus on each 5 year milestone. 

Perfect Attendance Award – A type of incentive pay for eligible instructional staff who has 0 absences during the school year. 

Employee Referral Program – This program rewards IDEA Employees who refer qualified teacher candidates. If your referral is hired and you both meet certain requirements, you may receive a cash award. 

Time Off and Paid Leave

IDEA employees enjoy generous paid time off and family leave benefits that enable personal and professional balance and flexibility.

Holidays and Personal Days  

Paid Holidays include Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Years Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and Columbus Day. Non-Work days include Thanksgiving Break (5), Christmas Break (10) and Spring Break (5). 

IDEA provides 5 Local Days annual for non-year round staff and 5-10 Local Days for year-round staff to use for personal time off. Time off is allocated each year and rolls over from year to year. 

Paid Family Leave Program

A leave program designed to allow eligible staff to receive up to 8 weeks of paid leave for the birth or adoption of a child based on their tenure with the organization and caregiver designation. We deeply value our Team & Family and want them to have access to high-quality leave programs that allow them space and time needed away from work to spend with their families during this exciting and monumental milestone in their lives! 

FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) 

IDEA staff who have completed at least one year of service and have worked at least 1,250 hours may take unpaid leave for up to 12 weeks within a year. FMLA can be utilized for: 

  • Care of newborn, recently adopted child or foster-care child
  • Care for a serious health condition that makes you unable to perform your job 
  • Care for a serious health condition of your child, spouse, eligible domestic partner or parent (or other family members as required by state law) 
  • Care for a service member who is recovering from a serious illness or injury sustained in the line of duty who is a spouse or eligible domestic partner, child parent or nearest blood related

Medical, Dental, Vision

IDEA employees are offered a range of health insurance plans and coverage options. IDEA contributes monthly to employee medical insurance coverage, and yearly to a Health Reimbursement Arrangement Account. The coverage you elect goes into effect on your first day of work.

Health Insurance Plans - IDEA Employees can elect medical benefits offered through the TRS Active Care system, with the option to choose among three Aetna PPO plans, or two regional HMO plans: Scott and White HMO-Austin, or Allegian HMO-RGV.

Health Reimbursement Arrangement Account - IDEA employees enrolled in a TRS Active Care medical plan and are hired as full-time automatically receive up to a $1,000 contribution into a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) to help with any out-of-pocket expenses related to medical, dental, and/or vision. This is essentially a pre-loaded debit card that can be used for anything from co-pays to new glasses to prescriptions. 

Dental - Provides benefits for preventive dental services, restorative care, periodontics, root canals, major services, and much more.

Vision - Provides benefits for eye exams, lenses, frames, and/or contacts.

Supplemental Health Benefits

As needed, IDEA employees may contribute to an array of supplemental health benefits.

Short Term Disability - Benefit pays 60% of weekly salary up to $2,700 per week after a 7 day waiting period.

Long Term Disability - Benefit pays 60% of monthly salary up to $15,000 per month after 90 day waiting period.

Cancer Insurance - Covers Radiation/Chemotherapy, New and Experimental Treatment, and comes with a Wellness Benefit.

Accident Insurance - Provides coverage for Emergency Accidents, Hospital Admission and comes with a Wellness Benefit.

Critical Illness plans - Pays a lump sum up to $10,000 for Heart Attack, Stroke, and other major illness.

Universal Life with Long Term Care - Provides permanent life insurance coverage with long term care coverage.

IDEA's Lifestyle Advantage Plan - Provides six benefits in one: Teledoc, Safe Identity, Vision Discounts, Roadside Assistance, Chiropractic Discounts, Instant Deal, and an Expense Tracker.

Voluntary Group Term Life - Provides a voluntary group term life benefit for employees up to $10,000 in coverage. Spouse coverage can't exceed 50% of the staff member face amount. 

529 College Savings Plan - Proves staff members the opportunity to start saving money for college for their children. 

Hospital Indemnity Plan - Provides assistance to enhance your current medical coverage so you can avoid dipping into savings, or having to borrow to cover out of pocket expenses. Provides coverage for services such as hospital confinement, admission, intensive care, and is HSA compatible. 

Health and Wellness - Provides access and immediate control over your fitness decisions allowing you to be active anytime, anywhere all the while earning rewards to stay happy and healthy! Having access to certified coaches that specialize in health coaching, nutrition, fitness, meditation and more. 

Retirement Planning

The key to enjoying your retirement is to begin contributing to your retirement savings plan now and continue to contribute on a regular basis. IDEA employees are provided multiple options to maximize future retirement plans.

Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) - All IDEA employees in Texas are automatically enrolled in the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) and contribute 7.7% of their wages. Participation is mandated by the state.

403(b) and 457(b) Retirement Plans - To maximize their retirement plan potential, IDEA Employees also have the option to enroll in 403(b) and/or 457(b) retirement savings plans, and elect their deferral amount.

Financial Benefits

An important part of the IDEA benefits package is financial support that allows for pre-tax savings on some of the most burdensome life expenses, as well as discounts at the places our employees often shop.

Flexible Spending Account / FSA - This flexible spending account allows staff members to contribute pre-tax dollars to pay for eligible medical expenses, such as co-pays, deductibles, dental, vision, prescriptions, and more.

  • Annual minimum contribution: $600 ($50 per month)
  • Annual maximum contribution: $2,600 ($216.66 per month)

Dependent Day-Care Reimbursement Accounts - This flexible spending account allows staff members to contribute pre-tax dollars to pay for the daily care of an eligible child or adult dependent.

  • Annual maximum contribution: $5,000; $2,500 if married and filing separately

Perkspot – This program is a one-stop-shop for exclusive discounts at some of your favorite national and local merchants.

Federal Loan Forgiveness: The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program was created to encourage people to enter and continue in the profession in certain elementary and secondary schools that serve low-income families. Additionally, certain administrative employees are also eligible to participate in reduced-payment and/or forgiveness programs developed by the US Federal Government as an incentive to support the mission of furthering education in identified, strategic areas in which furthering education and work in non-profits is encouraged. IDEA Public Schools serves low-income families throughout the Rio Grande Valley and Central Texas which means many of our staff may qualify for one or several of these incentive programs. 

Supportive Career Environment

Our Core Values commitment to Team & Family includes ensuring every employee is onboarded fully, recognized often, and supported consistently throughout their time at IDEA.

Onboarding – Provides a comprehensive introduction to IDEA. Includes an extensive orientation kit with related welcome support materials, classroom training for Instructional Staff, Manager Onboarding for all new leaders, and ongoing leader training.

Recognition – IDEA hosts different events and awards assemblies throughout the year to recognize exceptional efforts or results, including thank you e-cards, core value awards and cash awards. Annual Performance Bonuses selectively recognize qualified individuals for extraordinary achievements sustained over the majority of the year. 

Employee Assistance Program (EAP) – IDEA has a free service to all IDEA Employees that offers a solution to help make their busy lives easier. EAP can help you and your family members with confidential 24/7 consultation and referrals for family, legal, mental health, relationship, work and conflict resolutions issues. In addition they offer guidance for managing life’s transitions and much more. 

Professional Growth and Development

IDEA is committed to providing employees with resources and support to ensure everyone achieves their full professional potential.

Professional Development – IDEA provides employees with learning, experiences, coaching and related resources to ensure everyone excels in their role. IDEA will also give staff days off for approved external job-related education programs and training. 

Teacher Career Pathway – The Teacher Career Pathway is a differentiated reward, recognition, and retention program for teachers at IDEA Public Schools. This program synthesizes multiple components of a teacher’s performance in order to place him or her on a five-tier pathway. Each level on this pathway has its own set of supports, rewards, and recognition. Pathway evaluations and placements are conducted annually by managers on behalf of all teachers and incorporate student results, student and family input, as well as the teacher’s annual performance review.

Tuition Reimbursement – IDEA celebrates staff who want to further their education by pursuing graduate level work or comparable certifications. The Tuition Reimbursement program is available for qualifying staff.