Maine School Districts to access federal funds for performance-based pay


Last night, the Legislature’s Education Committee approved an amended version of Sen. Carol Weston’s bill to encourage performance-based compensation systems for teachers and school administrators.

As amended, the bill will become a Resolve, calling on the Department of Education to convene a working group to assist interested school districts in accessing federal grant funding to help them develop new pay models.

This is a big win. As I noted in an earlier post, Maine’s educational establishment recently called for more study of the performance-pay concept, despite numerous studies showing the positive effects such systems have had on student outcomes.

In the end, though, the availability of federal funding to help districts move in this direction, which a number of them are interested in doing, tipped the scales. The committee earlier voted down, by unanimous vote, a bill to outlaw such pay systems. Now, it has taken a active step toward encouraging the development of such systems here in Maine.

It is rare that Maine finds itself on the forefront of education reform, but this morning, thanks to the Education committee and the good work of Commissioner Gendron, who is supportive of the performance-pay concept, it is.