What happens to merit pay without the pay?

A reader brought this article to our attention. One of the items you will notice if you study the corporate reform plans being pushed for teacher merit pay, is the focus on firing "bad teachers", what you hear very little about is the pay aspect to "merit pay".

The largest teacher merit pay program in the nation is no more, reduced to a shell of its former self after having 90 percent of its funding slashed in the Texas budget crunch.

About 180,000 teachers—more than half the state's total—will receive bonus checks this fall for their work in the just concluded school year. But over the next two years, when state funding plummets, there will be enough money for only 18,000 to receive bonuses.

Originally trumpeted by Gov. Rick Perry and legislative leaders as the wave of the future in public education, the program fell victim to the scaled-back budget approved by the Legislature and signed by the governor last week. The state is spending $392 million in the current two-year budget on the District Awards for Teacher Excellence program but will have just $40 million for it in the next one.

All the downsides to the policy, without the rewards for excellence. Sounds very much like the plans the Ohio legislature have.