LETTERS: Opposing merit pay; Nothing changes

Opposing merit pay

As teachers and school employees in the Rio Grande Valley, we were dismayed to learn that two Valley superintendents are advocating for so-called “merit” pay for teachers (The Monitor, March 31). We shouldn’t be talking about “merit” pay for a relative handful of teachers when virtually all of Texas’ 350,000 teachers are underpaid and school support employees are paid even more poorly.

We also know that “merit” doesn’t really mean merit in the sense of helping children develop a broad range of critical-thinking skills so essential to success after graduation. We know that most “merit” pay schemes would be based largely on STAAR test scores and a teacher’s ability to teach to the test — or be fortunate enough to be assigned a class of good test-takers.

We are happy that the Legislature is considering pay raises for all teachers and professional and support staff, but “merit” pay proposals continue to circulate in Austin. Every dime that is appropriated to raise teacher and school employee pay should go to all teachers and employees, not just a select few.

Texas teachers, on average, are paid more than $7,000 less than the national average, according to the National Education Association. About 40 percent of teachers have to take extra jobs during the school year to meet their families’ needs, based on the Texas State Teachers Association’s most recent moonlighting survey.

Anywhere from 30 percent to 50 percent of teachers will quit the profession during five years after entering the classroom, and inadequate pay is a major reason.

Every school child deserves a high-quality, effective teacher. But hundreds of effective teachers are leaving Texas classrooms every year for more financially rewarding professions, and “merit” pay will do little, if anything, to address this crisis.

Maggie Inglett

President Harlingen Texas State Teachers Association/NEA Aracely Correa

President San Benito TSTA/NEA

Angelica Barrientos

President Mercedes Educators Association

Linda L. Estrada

President Donna TSTA/NEA

Sylvia Ortega


Rene Zamora

President Edinburg TSTA/NEA

Maribel Martinez

President Association of Brownsville Educators


Nothing changes

Things are really hopping in D.C. with the new socialist on the block speaking her mind. Well, don’t worry, residents of the Valley, “if nothing changes, nothing changes”; nothing is going to change in the Valley!

The Valley experienced severe flooding in 1967 and 50-plus years later, nothing has changed! Hmm!

As a Democratic stronghold in a Republican state, we haven’t had any hardy support from the Republicans or the Democrats! When the Republicans are in power, we’re at the bottom of the list! When the Democrats are in power we’re a sure vote, nothing changes.

What they have recently done to DACA and to our southern border has opened my eyes to the games Democrats play with people’s lives! I figured these creeps out! They treat Hispanics the same way they treat our black brothers and sisters who vote for them come hell or high water!

As long as Valley Democrats follow the lies and deceit spewed by the liberal left and continue to blindly vote for them, nothing is going to change!

It’s all about power over people and they love it!

To be fair, Republicans have some of those Republicans in name only also, but nothing like the Democrats! Now with their new Barbie doll Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the closet doors are flying open! Everybody is now a socialist and if they give 16-year-olds the right to vote, we’re in trouble!

I hope Valley residents pay attention to the direction their party is taking! Medicare for all! Ask my fellow veterans what it’s like to go to a government-run medical facility! Free college tuition! Ask my fellow professionals how much a college education cost and how hard we studied because we could not afford to take a class twice!

Wake up, my friends, there is no such thing as a free lunch, and if you want to go down the same road Venezuela is going, keep voting for those jokers who promise you the world and give you jack!

Ernest Gorena, Brownsville

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