For the last few years several parents have created their own merit pay by giving to those outstanding teachers who have had an impact on their children’s lives.
We don’t give to mediocre teachers or to those who harm our children (for instance we gave nothing to the one who wrote “awful” on the sincere efforts of a fourth grader’s attempt at creative writing). But to those who make a difference, we each give between $50 and $100 in cash (or as much as we can) near the end of the school year.
It’s not as good as a raise, but it is something everyone can do now. The money is a lot for us, but we figure that a year of excellence in our children’s lives is worth at least a new auto tire or a nice dinner at a restaurant.
We give in cash anonymously. It would be nice if the IRS would count it as a contribution, and that schools and PTAs would set up a system so that one could write a check to the school specifying the teacher and the schools could disburse the funds (eliminating the need for cash).
We urge all concerned parents to do the same. (P.S. I am just a parent, not a teacher.)