Gov. Nathan Deal may face a stiffer hurdle than expected if he tries this year to tie teachers' pay to their performance in the classroom.
An Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll found that a majority of voters - 56 percent - oppose linking public school teachers' pay to student performance while about 39 percent back it. The support only ticks marginally upward, to 42 percent, among voters who identify themselves as Republican.
Deal has said he's ready to as lawmakers to make a "significant" step toward embracing merit pay, though it's unclear how much political capital he's willing to put on the line this year for the controversial proposal.
Educators' groups have vowed to fight the policy and it's unclear whether lawmakers will be willing to sign on for the battle knowing the blow-back they could face from teachers. House Speaker David Ralston, a Republican who controls his chamber's agenda, has already said he's leery of the proposal.