Gov. Perry institutes teacher merit pay
Bypassing the Legislature, he enacts a program educators unions long have scorned
— reported by the Houston Chronicle1
Continuing to use his executive authority to implement education programs rejected by the Legislature, Gov. Rick Perry Wednesday ordered the state’s first incentive pay program for teachers.
The program will use $10 million in discretionary federal funds to reward teachers who succeed in economically disadvantaged schools. The money will be distributed in $100,000 grants to 100 campuses that show marked improvement in student performance.
Texas ranked 30th in the nation for its average teacher salary in 2003-04, according to the American Federation of Teachers. The average teacher salary in Texas for that year was $40,476, up 1.3 percent from the previous year. The national average was $46,597.
Local school officials will have discretion to distribute the incentive grants to teachers they determine are having the greatest impact. Perry’s executive order requires that 75 percent of the grant must go directly to teachers.