the dissatisfaction about the results of basic education performance in brazil is high, and the national assessment of education still indicates a persistent gap in the area. in response to this fact, the department of education of s？o paulo state has proposed measures to encourage its teachers financially. in addition to the performance bonuses, already in force, a system based on the promotion by merit within the teaching career was sent to the legislative assembly as a supplementary bill (plc). this article dicusses the limits of the principles and the efficiency of plc, based on the positive correlation between increase in compensation and performance improvement. it also analyzes the limits of the concept of quality education coupled with the logic of market. we present the precepts and inconsistencies of the plc, the results of international studies related to the effectiveness of policies for merit pay, and finally we make some considerations about the plc, in view of the international experience.