Miss. Gov. Phil Bryant Calls for Teacher Merit Pay

JEFF AMY | Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Gov. Phil Bryant wants to end Mississippi's statewide system of seniority-based teacher raises. Instead, the Republican governor wants each of the state's 151 school districts to design their own system to pay teachers according to student performance.

Bryant released a merit pay report from Mississippi State University researchers at a Friday news conference. The report suggests basing merit pay on Mississippi's new teacher evaluation system, which is slowly being rolled out.

The governor says good teachers should be rewarded for high performance, and says cash rewards will encourage teachers to improve.

The Legislature, which mandates seniority-based raises, would have to authorize districts to pay on merit.

Bryant says the Clarksdale, Gulfport, Lamar County and Rankin County districts have expressed interest in taking part in a trial program.

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