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Inconclusive Report Leaves Debate

Not much could be cleared up between the Minnesota Legislature and the governor's office regarding funding for a teacher development and compensation program, after the state legislative auditor's office released a report that did not give it an explicitly positive or negative assessment, Minnesota Public Radio reported.

Quality Compensation - or Q-Comp - began in 2005 as a program to give state funding to school districts for teacher development and higher teacher salaries based on quality, the Star Tribune reported.

The report was presented Tuesday to the Minnesota Senate by the legislative auditor's office, which said that there was not enough evidence to determine whether the program positively or negatively affects student performance. The report also said that school administrators have a more positive view of the program than teachers have, and that both groups have a more positive view of the development component of Q-Comp than the increased salary component, the Star Tribune reported.

The state has spent $143 million on Q-Comp since it began. Governor Tim Pawlenty has proposed $41 million in increased funding for the program over the next two years. With the state's budget deficit, many legislators are not supportive of a spending increase for a program that might not have demonstrated a positive effect on schools. Others see Q-Comp as a project that can still improve the quality of public education. Either, it might be difficult for the state to increase its funding of Q-Comp, the Star Tribune reported.