More than 600 Lamar teachers get 1st merit pay checks

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) — More than 600 of Lamar County's teachers qualified for the district's first round of merit pay, says Chris Wooten, human resources director for the county school district.

Qualification for the second round will be tougher, so fewer teachers probably will qualify, he told The Hattiesburg American ( ).

He said 90 percent to 95 percent of the district's 700 teachers qualified for the first round. The extra pay in checks this month totaled $340,000, he said.

Lamar County School District is one of four statewide participating in a pilot merit pay program pushed by Gov. Phil Bryant, who said it would encourage teachers to be more effective.

Teachers who got at least 3 points on the state's M-STAR evaluation qualified for the first round.

Wooten said M-STAR won't play as big a part in the second round.

"It will be more stringent and probably fewer people will qualify," he said. "For a true incentive, you should be rewarding those who go above and beyond."


Information from: The Hattiesburg American,

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