Texas House Committee Says No To Merit Raises For Only Top-Rated Teachers

A Texas legislative committee is abandoning a bill for merit-based teacher raises; instead it will use the money for schools with low-income students as an incentive for recruiting teachers to the state’s poorest schools.

The Dallas News reports:

“A Texas House committee delivered a blow Tuesday to proponents of giving teachers raises based on merit.

The author of the leading House bill to overhaul public school education across Texas struck a controversial plan to create a $140 million program that offered raises to only top-rated teachers.

Instead, that money will be funneled toward schools with the highest percentages of low-income students to give teachers incentives to work at the toughest campuses. Districts would be able to lure top teachers to the poorest schools with more money, under a program modeled after Dallas ISD’s pilot.

The merit pay language was stripped right before the House Public Education committee unanimously voted to send the bill to the full House for consideration.

The bill’s author, Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Humble, made the change to ensure districts retain local control after a raft of teacher groups spoke against the proposed statewide system that would have rewarded only some teachers with higher salaries.

The groups demanded that all teachers be paid the national average before merit pay is put on the table, expressing preference for a Senate bill to give every teacher a $5,000 pay raise that senators unanimously supported.

The average Texas teacher earns about $54,000 a year, about $7,600 less than the national average, according to the National Education Association.”

For the rest of the story, visit the Dallas News here.

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