McDonnell proposes merit pay, corporate tax credits for schools
Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) proposed Tuesday that districts with underperforming schools be eligible for $3 million as part of a pilot program to fund teacher performance-pay awards.
The proposal would award incentives of up to $5,000 to teachers in hard-to-staff schools, including schools that are at risk of losing state accreditation, have a high number of English learners or have a high percentage of special-needs students.
A list of 190 schools eligible to apply for the grant includes those in Loudoun, Fairfax, Arlington and Prince William counties and the cities of Alexandria and Manassas.
"This was a reform I first outlined during my campaign for governor and a plan that we will continue to develop over the next couple years as we see the effectiveness of the pilot programs,'' McDonnell said. "Performance pay is a bipartisan idea, and I have applauded the President for his leadership on this issue. It is time that we moved forward on bringing this idea to the commonwealth, to the benefit of our students, teachers and parents."
Robley S. Jones, director of government affairs for the Virginia Education Association, said his organization is not supporting or opposing the proposal, which was introduced as an amendment to the state's two year budget. He said the VEA is continuing to work with the Department of Education on performance pay. "It's an unfinished project,'' he said.
At a news conference Tuesday, McDonnell also introduced a bill, HB 2314, establishing a tax-credit program for corporations that contribute scholarship money for students eligible for a free- or reduced- price lunch to attend private school.
The tax credit would equal 70 percent of the donation made by the corporation, and the Virginia Department of Taxation could issue up to $25 million in credits in each fiscal year.
| January 18, 2011; 2:35 PM ET
Categories: Anita Kumar, General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Robert F. McDonnell, State Senate
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