In California: Arnold Schwarzenegger has all but admitted defeat on his merit pay proposal. Now his hopes are pinned on winning approval for a "combat pay" proposal, an incendiary term that handed the Governator's opponents some easy ammo (it's known in more sensitive circles as "hardship pay").
In Virginia: Governor Mark Warner's education team has put a new incentive pay initiative on the table. Up to 69 experienced math teachers would receive as much as $10,000 extra dollars a year for three years for teaching at middle schools with low student scores on math exams. No word yet on the bill's prospects for being passed, but it's a small initiative, and we're hoping it slips past the defenders of the status quo!
In Texas: The Texas Senate Education Committee has approved a bill that would award merit bonuses to teachers based on student achievement. If the Senate passes the bill, it still has to work out a suitable version with the House so don't hold your breath on this one.
The Feds: They're getting merit pay fever as well. In a recent speech at the Milken Family Foundation National Education Conference, education secretary Margaret Spellings gave a vigorous endorsement of the Administration's proposed $500 million Teacher Incentive Fund, which (if approved by Congress in the FY06 budget) will "provide states with money to reward teachers who take the toughest jobs and achieve real results."