He says if merit pay is the only option acceptable to Governor Phil Bryant, he'd be willing to go with that. Bryant says he wants to base any teacher pay raises on test scores and job evaluations. It has been several years since Mississippi teachers have received an across the board raise. Four districts are now trying merit pay. Joyce Helmick of the Mississippi Association of Educators says, “We were off three months. That’s gone down to almost less than two. Many educators are going to school during the summer. They go to workshops. They work.” The Mississippi Association of Educators says it wants lawmakers to approve an across the board raise.