Des Moines IA (TWP)
Middle school science teacher Rhonda Spelling met with legislators at the state capitol on Tuesday to discuss a proposed bill on merit pay for parents that she co-authored. The bill would issue merit pay funds, similar to how they are rewarded to teachers, to parents whose children aren’t failures.
Using funds from the state lottery, the legislation would make it possible to pay parents of children for a variety of outcomes and behaviors, such as not getting pregnant or (in the case of male children) not getting another adolescent pregnant. Merit pay can also be earned if parents don’t allow their children to work from 4 to midnight at McDonald’s on school nights.
The bill also provides merit pay for parents whose children bring a pencil and piece of paper to class, stay awake, and consistently fail to reveal cleavage, camel toe, or ass crack in their normal school attire. Some exceptions will be made for accidental exposure of said cleavage or crack, and the reward will be measured by gauging the centimeters of flesh on public display and clocking the running time of display.
Oh, and parents who actually work with their children to educate themselves and pass their classes will get a little reward, too.
Spelling noted that her inspiration for the bill was her own life and being a teacher of low-level science classes and the mother of three teenagers. “I wasn’t going to get teacher merit pay because of the classes I had, so I figured I at least ought to get paid for teaching my own kids to value education and to be civil, decent, responsible human beings.”
President Obama’s push for teacher merit pay is being embraced by AP and honors teachers across the nation. Spelling said, “In the last month, we’ve had three fist fights in the faculty lounge over who should get to teach those classes when the merit pay system goes into effect.”
Spelling said she preferred to remain neutral in the ongoing battle, which she already has a sprinkling of bruises from, having broken up a fight between the AP world literature teacher and a basic English teacher who has an average of 33 students in his classes.
“That’s why I came up with the parent merit pay because I send my kids to school with enough sleep and energy and enthusiasm for education to make them successful,” Spelling said. “I’m not even going to try to battle the pay issue for myself as a teacher.”
House Bill 1852, nicknamed Save Schools: Pay Parents, has a long road ahead of it. But the senator sponsoring the bill, Rep. Bill Long (R) said it is in keeping with President Obama’s calls for rewarding excellence in education. “And where does the education of a child start and prosper? At home, with his parents.”
Rewarding the educational work at home is Spelling’s main motive. “My students have parents in jail, no parents, parents in rehab, great-grandparents trying to parent, foster parents, friends as parents and siblings as parents. Fine. I can’t change that. But I personally took on the responsibility for rearing decent children who value education, and my kids’ excellence is going to make some other teacher a lot of money. Where’s mine?”