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State Lawmakers Debate Merit-Based Pay For Teachers

New teachers in Michigan would be paid based primarily on student growth under a bill in Lansing.

As The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher reports, some lawmakers question whether now is the right time to take up the issue.

The state Legislature is still waiting on a report that will recommend a state-wide teacher evaluation system.

Lawmakers like Representative David Knezek say they should wait to see what the report says before they switch to a merit-pay system for teachers.

“I don’t know why we’re jumping the gun on this,”  he says.  “We should be waiting for what the commission comes back and says to us is the proper course of action.”

Bill sponsor Pete Lund says the commission’s recommendation could be more useful if they already have a system in place.

   “I don’t think the two necessarily, one has to be before the other,”  he says.

Lund says tying educators’ pay to their performance in the classroom would promote student growth and weed out bad teachers.

Jake Neher is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He covers the State Legislature and other political events in Lansing.
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