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It was the largest program of its type in the nation just a few years ago, hailed by Republican leaders as the wave of the future in education. But Texas’ once-vaunted teacher merit pay plan is no more.  What remained of the plan after massive funding cuts in 2011 has been converted this fall into a new state grant program that will pay for innovative education in a few dozen poor schools.  Nearly half of Texas teachers — about 180,000 educators — received bonuses under the incentive pay plan…

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