DISD Teacher Merit Pay System May Face Issues on Current Course: Superintendent

The superintendent at the Dallas Independent School District says he is not sure how the district will be able to afford its merit pay system next year if something does not change.

The merit pay system, called the Teacher Excellence Initiative, compensates teachers for their work in the classroom, rather than by their experience.

Currently, Dallas ISD teachers are evaluated by their student’s test scores. The president of the Texas Federation of Teachers-American Federation of Teachers believes the process does not work.

“The compensation levels are unpredictable and the merit process lacks transparency," President Rena Honea said. “The evaluation process is subjective and should take into account a teachers experience, and the degrees earned in their field of study,” she said.

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(Published Friday, Dec. 14, 2018)

District administrators have been weighing the benefits of the program for months. The superintendent would like to attract great teachers with higher pay, lower retention, and still stay within the district’s budget.

“This is our life blood. This is very important. If we have great teachers we can make a big difference,” said Dr. Michael Hinojosa who is the Superintendent of Dallas ISD.

“We need to better articulate this issue. The program has been controversial because its different, so we need to define what the results are. We’re in favor of the program, but it has to be financially sustainable,” said Hinojosa.

The School Board will hear proposed changes made by the administration during a meeting set for 11:30 a.m.