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Cargill announces plans for paying teachers on merit



State legislators will be looking at a merit-based pay system for Oklahoma's teachers as a new method for increasing salaries. House Republican leaders announced their intentions today at press conference.

Over the next few months, a study group will be formed to examine models and programs used across the country to financially reward teachers.

"The left is solely focused on money," said Speaker of the House Lance Cargill, referring to liberal policies. "We don't think most Oklahomans believe that. We believe money must be coupled with accountability."

Starting on Aug. 21, the group will host a series of hearings to look into the matter of performance pay. The last hearing will be held Oct. 9. The plan is to come up with a proposal to submit during the next Legislative session in February.

The Republican leaders said several options will be looked at, but student test scores will be part of the plan.

Cargill said he wants to change the way the state hands out teacher pay raises.

"I disagree with pay raises across the board," Cargill said. "We're using a 19th-century model where the worst teachers are paid the same as the best teachers." "Scott Cooper

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