San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

September 27th, 2012
Letter: Isaac’s merit pay for teachers is right on the money


I am writing to express my endorsement for Jason Isaac’s reelection as state representative for Texas’ House District 45. I have followed Mr. Isaac’s tenure in the House and had the pleasure of meeting him this past weekend. We are extremely lucky in District 45 to have such a capable, dedicated and fiscally responsible representative.

I was especially happy to hear his commitment to the education of our children. I am a retired educator, having worked 29 years in public schools, and I can tell you first hand that Mr. Isaac’s call for compensating teachers who excel in their profession is exactly what education needs.

As an administrator, it was extremely frustrating watching teachers who did not care about their students, did not teach, but always knew they would get a paycheck — and a raise. I would watch this while another teacher, maybe in the next classroom engaged all students in the learning process — went above and beyond what the district said was expected — and got that same paycheck and raise. This would not go on in any other industry. Why do we let it go on with something as precious and important as our children’s lives. Their future rests in the hands of those teachers.

It is an embarrassment. As in any profession, the best should be rewarded. If a teacher is not performing according to a district’s standards they have no business in a classroom. These are not an inanimate object we are producing; these are human beings, the future of this country. Jason Isaac sees the importance of this.


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8 thoughts on “Letter: Isaac’s merit pay for teachers is right on the money

  1. While I certainly think that teachers deserve more pay to give them the pay their status as professionals should bring, I will say that it seems to me that Jason Isaac is callously using this to act like he’s trying to help our students.

    “Merit pay” is a dangerous thing. If you want for teachers to be fighting against each other, working to not have the kids who most need the best teachers due to their learning problems or lack of school readiness, institute “merit pay.” Teamwork, espeically in schools with students who face multiple challenges is essential. I, too, have seen great teachers and bad ones. Bad teachers can be fired in Texas, there is no need to keep them. This is what I believe, when you do your job, your “bonus” is that you keep your job, if you go above and beyond, then there should be bonuses. If you don’t do your job, then you need to find a new career. What we owe our teachers is pay that is commiserate with thier educational level, and pay that is fair for what they do. If they take on the hardest cases, then extra stipends are certainly in order, just as coaches and band directors get stipends for the extra work they do.

    Let’s get back to Mr. Isaac: Not only did Jason vote for the $5.5 billion cut that ultimately passed, but also for the $9 billion cut that the House originally passed. In addition, when Donna Howard offered her common sense bill that would have put some money back into schools if our revenues increased (which they did), Jason not only voted against it, but since it was a voice vote, he went the extra step and took the time to register his vote so that it showed as a “NO!”

    Paying teachers is important, but so is also giving them good working conditions. This year, thanks to the cuts for which Jason Isaac voted my daughter has 30+ kids in all her core subject classes. There are 34 in her 6th grade math class. Imagine trying to teach that many kids and being sure that they all “get it”. Doing the math, that gives each child a max of ~2 minutes of individualized attention- and that would only be if the teacher just spent time with each child, but she must also teach new concepts to the students in that same time.

    Thanks to these cuts for which Jason voted, teachers lost their jobs, as did many staff members. Course offerings were cut, and every one of them made the education that our children are getting at their local schools less. The folks at our schools are working very hard to make it impact them as little as possible, but the truth is, these cuts do affect our children, their education and our future. Until funding is restored and the structural deficit in the school funding is fixed, we’ll continue to see cuts to our public schools. Jason keeps saying he supports public schools, but I just have to ask, “If you didn’t support public schools, how would your votes have been any different?” Don’t go by what he is NOW saying he will do- go by what he has done, and his votes have done damage to our children’s education.

    Kathi Thomas
    Mom to Dripping Springs Middle Schooler
    Hays County

  2. I wonder if the bills that were denied tied federal ( get you later) money into this picture, as most everything offered by the present failed POTUS and his party ( DNC) has attempted to do in unseemly, slight of hand style lies that will come back to haunt the citizens of Texas, and curse us with yet even more FAILED FEDERAL SCHEMES TO ADVANCE THE ABSURD INSANITY CREATED BY TEACHERS UNIONS, and their LIBERAL political puppets!JLB 🙂

  3. There are no teachers unions in Texas to speak of. And last I checked the state leg that oversees our state schools is hardly beholden to liberal puppet masters.

  4. The push for federal infussion of taxdollars and the strings that come with them is what I was currious about, as they are directly tied to the unions that control those that would implement the failed ideas espoused by teacher unions. Thank God we are not directly cursed with their ideals, and hopefully never will be! My point was to avoid ever having the strings that accompany federal dollars forced upon us, any more so than they may already be, and or the liberal puppet masters behind them.

  5. Isaac has a common sense approach to making the tough decisions that must be made. That approach benefits the taxpayers of Texas.

  6. beautifully worded kathi!

    as for intrepid, you should consider arguments that didnt come from the tail end of an elephant

  7. I am very surprised that a veteran of Texas education as the writer claims is an advocate for merit pay for teachers. I too served as a teacher, principal and superintendent for 30+ years with the majority in Texas and saw first hand the damage the last merit pay scheme developed by those who think schools should be run like a business. It was called Career Ladder and it was a colossal failure. The program eroded collaboration and increased competition, while this may sound good for some, I can tell you it does not work. So, if Mr. Issac is encouraging merit pay this is another reason for casting a vote for John Adams. Frankly, I want our representative in District 45 to pledge allegiance to the United States of America and to defend and support the Constitution of the United States. Not a pledge to an individual, Grover Norquist, who is a lobbyist in Washington DC. So, your vote can decide if we get a leader or a puppet. What’s best for the constituents of District 45?

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