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February 13, 2012 05:49 PM

House Approves Governor's Teacher Bonus Plan

pierre, sd

The South Dakota House has approved a modified version of Gov. Dennis Daugaard's plan to give bonuses to the state's top teachers.

Representatives voted 41-28 to send the measure to the Senate for further debate.

Daugaard proposed giving annual $5,000 bonuses to the top 20 percent of each school district's teachers, based on evaluations and student performance. The revised plan lets school districts follow the governor's original plan, create their own teacher reward plans or not take part at all. 

House Bill 1234 also would give new math and science teachers annual bonuses of $8,000 for their first five years of teaching. 

Supporters say the measure will help improve teaching and boost student achievement.  But opponents say merit pay systems have never worked in schools.
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