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Lawmaker To Stall CMS Pay Bill, Allow For Negotiation

http://66.225.205.104/JR20110422.mp3

A bill to let CMS implement a controversial pay plan for teachers without their consent will be put on a slower track to passage. The sponsor of the measure wants to give the district and its opponents time to settle their differences. CMS would like the ability to pay teachers based on how well their students perform, rather than the number of degrees or years of experience they have. To help the process along, district officials drafted a measure for Mecklenburg County State Representative Ruth Samuelson to sponsor. It would change the law so CMS could implement the new pay plan without a vote from teachers or approval from the state board of education. A firestorm of complaints from parents and teachers led Samuelson to send out an email late this week promising not to rush her bill through the legislature. It's scheduled for a hearing and vote in the state House next week. If the bill passes, Samuelson says she'll delay debate by the Senate until there is more progress between CMS and its critics on the Pay for Performance program. Samuelson says the bill can stay "parked" until next June, if it takes that long. CMS Superintendent Peter Gorman is eager to pay teachers based on the test scores of their students and other measures of effectiveness. But many teachers and parents worry the main focus would be standardized tests, which they don't think will be a fair measure of teacher performance.