ELMWOOD PARK - The spotlight in the state Legislature is once again on merit-based pay for New Jersey teachers.

Under Assembly Bill # 981 - the "School Children First Act" - teacher salaries and pay increases would be based on performance evaluations, districts, and subjects taught rather than seniority.

The bill was reintroduced recently by Assemblyman Jay Webber. Supporters of merit-based pay think it could encourage professional development among teachers, motivating educators to show progress in the classroom in order to increase their pay.

Merit-based pay was part of a comprehensive teacher tenure reform signed by Gov. Chris Christie in August, but it was eventually taken out.