(Photo: CPR/Pat Mack)

State lawmakers have killed a bill aimed at giving top teachers in Colorado incentives to work in struggling schools. The measure called for providing teachers rated "highly effective" a pay increase of up to 20 percent to teach in low-performing schools. The House Education Committee voted 7-6 against the measure Monday. 

The bill's sponsor, Representative Kevin Priola (R-Henderson), argued the pay hike would give strong teachers a chance to help at-risk students close the achievement gap.

The measure had bipartisan support, but some Democrats wondered if schools were ready for the change, and if the policy was the right strategy to get resources into underperforming schools.

"I just feel like it's premature," Representative Lois Court (D-Denver) said. "I think that we have put a lot of changes into our schools in the last several years. I think this is one other piece that just might confuse things for a lot of districts."