Free Lance-Star reporter Amy Umble covers Stafford County schools and other education issues

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Caroline school system applies for merit pay

Caroline County was the only area school system to apply for a state program that provides merit pay for teachers in hard-to-staff schools.

 Schools in 57 divisions in Virginia—including in the town of Colonial Beach and in Stafford, Westmoreland and Orange counties—were eligible for the one-year pilot program. Just seven applied: Caroline, the city of Roanoke and the counties of Dinwiddie, Goochland, Accomack, Patrick and Greensville.

Gov. Bob McDonnell announced the initiative early this year. The state is providing $3 million for teacher bonuses of up to $5,000 in 2011–12. Hard-to-staff schools must meet at least four of eight criteria. They include being accredited with a warning, and having high numbers of English learners, teachers with provisional licenses and special-needs children.

Read tomorrow’s Free Lance-Star for more information.