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

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Caroline schools to offer teacher merit pay this coming school year

Teachers at Caroline High School and Madison Elementary in Caroline County will be eligible for $5,000  bonuses in 2011–12, the governor’s office announced today.

 Caroline is receiving about $320,000 from the state for merit pay for teachers who earn an exemplary rating on their evaluations, Superintendent Gregory Killough said.

 “We’re trying to keep teachers here, and we’re hoping it’ll be an incentive,” he said.

 The General Assembly approved $3 million for merit-pay bonuses of up to $5,000 at hard-to-staff schools in 2011–12. Schools in 57 divisions—including in Stafford, Westmoreland and Orange counties—were eligible for the one-year pilot program.

 Caroline was one of seven divisions—and the only in the Fredericksburg area—to apply.

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.

The governor’s office also announced today that the town of Colonial Beach will receive federal money for merit pay.

 Colonial Beach High School teachers who receive an exemplary rating will be eligible for $3,000 bonuses in 2012–13. 

That money is from a federal grant for reforms at low-performing schools.

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