A majority of teachers surveyed by the Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana favor merit pay, officials said Tuesday morning.

The group, known as A+PEL, calls itself a professional teachers’ organization.

It often differs with Louisiana’s two teacher unions, including on the value of Louisiana’s new teacher evaluations.

In a prepared statement, A+PEL officials said more than 400 teachers responded to the survey, which was done March 18-25.

A total of 53 percent of those contacted said they favor higher salary for teachers for good student performance.

In addition, 76 percent of teachers said ineffective teachers should be released first during layoffs.

Some educators contend that seniority should play a key role in any layoff decisions.

“Contrary to the union narrative, teachers are leaders not followers,” said Polly Broussard, executive director of A+PEL.

“They want innovative policies that can help them excel,” Broussard said.

The survey touches on issues in a state law under fire, including a new requirement that removes seniority as a key issue in deciding layoffs.

A+PEL has about 7,000 members.