Washington County Public Schools was chosen for $7.4 million in federal grant money to create an incentive program for teachers and administrators at schools serving students from low-income families.
The grant covers a five-year period, but money only is available for the first two years for now.
Washington County's program will cover five schools with high Free and Reduced Meals (FARM) rates, a measure of poverty -- Fountaindale, Winter Street and Salem Avenue elementary schools and Northern and Western Heights middle schools.
Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan said the district already has differentiated pay for principals based on the schools where they work, and has talked for years about a wider program.
New mandates in the federal Race to the Top program and the Maryland Education Reform Act of 2010 are directing the school system to tie together pay and performance, she said.
The 2010 state act calls for 50 percent of teacher evaluations to be based on student progress.