Some Schools Reject Incentive Grants

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A handful of Texas schools are rejecting a merit-pay program.

The schools are turning down thousands of dollars in state money intended to reward teachers for high test scores in low-income areas.

Teachers have resisted the program, which was approved in legislation in May. It has been touted by Governor Rick Perry.

But teachers say the program fosters animosity and raises the stakes of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills.

Bellaire Elementary School in Hurst is one of at least 21 schools that will send back 90-thousand dollars in grants.

The principal at Bellaire -- Bea Cantu -- says -- quote -- "A lot of our staff felt this would be a distraction to what we have our minds set to do: raise TAKS scores and improve student achievement."

Most of the one-thousand, 161 schools that were awarded grants expect to use the money for merit programs this year. Debbie Ratcliffe of the Texas Education Agency says she expects 98 percent of qualifying campuses to participate.