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South Dakota Voters Reject Teacher Merit-Pay Plan

November 6, 2012, 11:14 PM

SIOUX FALLS, SD -

South Dakota voters have rejected Gov. Dennis Daugaard's plan to give bonuses to top teachers, phase out tenure and recruit candidates for critical teaching jobs.

The Legislature approved the Republican governor's proposal earlier this year, but the state's main teachers union, the South Dakota Education Association, collected enough signatures to put the measure on the ballot for a public vote.

Daugaard argues the measure will improve student achievement. But opponents contend it could hurt the quality of education because teachers might stop collaborating to help students as they compete for bonus money.

The plan would have given annual $5,000 bonuses to the top 20 percent of teachers in each school district and provided scholarships and bonuses to recruit teachers in critical fields.

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