House bill 1234 provides rewards for the best teachers and those teaching in math and science subject areas. The bill is part of a plan set out by Governor Dennis Daugaard to improve education in South Dakota.
The proposed legislation also revises the way teachers are evaluated.
State Senator Phyllis Heineman of Sioux Falls says the major goal of the House Bill is to improve student learning.
"We significantly need to increase student achievement Our schools are good - there's no question - but our student achievement has flat lined to a degree and so our focus in all of this is to increase student achievement,"
Senate Democratic Leader Jason Frerichs (Frair-Ricks) opposes the legislation. He and other critics say a merit based pay system won't improve student performance but will hurt teacher morale.
By Marcus Brooks
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