BALTIMORE — "Step" increases may be erased in Baltimore public schools in favor of a contract that pays teachers partly according to students' performance but also gives them more input on working conditions, according to the Baltimore Sun.

The Sun described the new pay structure as "radical." City teachers would receive a 2 percent pay increase the first year, boosting the starting salary for newcomers to $46,774, a $5,000 increase. Teachers also would get a one-time $1,500 stipend for signing the contract, the Sun reported; a ratification vote will take place in October.

In the second and third years, teachers could receive up to a 1 percent increase and 1.5 percent raise, respectively, based on student performance, teacher evaluations and any courses they have taken to improve instruction, according to the Sun.

Schools also will implement "school-based" options, which allow 80 percent of teachers in a school to help set working conditions not already specified in the contract, such as more planning time, the report said.

By the end of the contract in 2012, a standard teacher could earn up to $53,400, a professional teacher as much as $84,011, a model teacher up to $92,700 and a lead teacher as much as $100,800, the Sun reported.

The Baltimore Sun, "City teachers would be able to earn significantly more under new contract," Sept. 29, 2010

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Recaps of New Teachers Union Contracts," Sept. 30, 2010